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NHS issues

I mentioned the Carillion dispute, involving workers at Great Western Hospital in Swindon, in this postHere Todd Hamer reports on serious allegations against the private service provider:

Carillion bosses made the workers give them “gifts” in exchange for booking their entitled leave and shift requests.

And here is a report of how one worker’s name was apparently put on a blacklist by Carillion, allegedly because of his trade union activism:

“So workers like myself, whose only crime was to be a member of the trade union or raise concerns about safety or unpaid wages, suffered long periods of unemployment. It is absolutely appalling.

“I think Carillion have a pathological dislike of trade unions. In the construction industry, repeatedly, they sacked any of the union stewards and safety reps. Now with PFI they’re bringing the same practices into the health service. They’re an absolute disgrace.”

Carillion has identified possible inaccuracies in the accusations.

Hamer also mentions shift changes at Addenbrookes – this Cambridge News account offers a fuller account of the impact on workers.

Phil Gooden, Unison representative, said: “Currently staff working in the evening work a six-hour shift, but get paid for nine hours as more than half of the shift falls within unsociable hours.

“However, the proposal is to bring forward their start time from 6pm to 5pm and so the extra pay is lost. So for every evening that is worked one and a half hours is lost. That’s obviously seven and a half hours per week.”

All 600 staff will also lose pay for tea breaks, for which they are currently paid.

Mr Gooden added: “They are going to lose another hour and a quarter pay in virtue of five times 15-minute breaks.

“It’s in excess of £60 a week and £3,000 a year, and for some people it is double that because a number of couples are facing the same losses.”

Although it is not directly related to these issues, I’d also like to draw attention to Sue Marsh’s recent appalling experience at Addenbrookes.  She was given Fentanyl following an operation on her bowel despite wearing a bracelet indicating that she was allergic to the drug and despite being reassured by her surgeon that this it would not be used.

Hat Tip: Todd Hamer