Health trade unions invited to teleconference with Department of Health financial officials ahead of coordinated Extraordinary Trust meetings
Unite Regional Officer with lead responsibility for Health, Kevin McAdam, spoke ahead of his attendance at the Belfast Trust meeting tomorrow [Thursday]:
“It would appear that the trade unions are being drawn into a game of bluff between the Department, the Commissioners and the Trusts regarding the financial situation in Health. Despite the absence of a Commissioning plan, the Trusts are announcing pre-emptive actions to implement savings plans.
“It cannot be insignificant that all Health trade unions have been asked to a teleconference early tomorrow morning with the Department of Health’s Financial Officers in relation to budgets for 2017-18.
“This whole episode is highly unusual in that no prior consultation regarding spending cuts or ‘savings plans’ have been raised with trade unions as would be the norm. Indeed, the coordination of Trust Board meetings at the same time and at such short notice is also a point of concern. Unite will have representatives at these meetings and will listen and respond accordingly.
“Trust costs are made up of 72% staff costs and we do not see how the trusts can make the sort of savings other than through impacting our members. We will be impressing on Senior Management that staff will not stand-by while austerity is delivered on their backs or while jobs are put at risk.
“Our members are still waiting for this year’s miserly one percent pay rise to be confirmed by the Department. They have already suffered the consequences of two DUP Ministers who have refused to consolidate pay awards; as a result healthcare workers in Northern Ireland are now the lowest paid in the United Kingdom”, Mr McAdam concluded.