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NHS trust break-up fear

Putting the Mid Staffordshire NHS trust into administration is entering ,“uncharted territory”, which could open the door to further NHS privatisation, Unite warned in April.

The scandal-hit trust became the first NHS foundation trust to be put into administration, following the damning Francis report into the hospital’s past record. Unite national officer Rachael Maskell said, “The fear is that it will be broken up and sold off to private healthcare companies.

“We believe this would be very detrimental to patient care, and staff conditions and morale, as well as for the people of Staffordshire generally. We are entering into unchartered territory with the administration process. Other trusts in the country are in difficult financial circumstances, so the threat of NHS privatisation is greater than the situation that Mid Staffs finds itself. The public in England need to wake-up to this very real threat.”

Bedroom tax demos

Unite community activists in Yorkshire were out in force in April. Hundreds marched through Barnsley, protesting against the hated ‘bedroom tax’ which came into force on April 1 and a week earlier over 1,000 people also demonstrated in Leeds.

The National Housing Federation estimates 80,000 people across Yorkshire and Humberside could be affected. Unite said the figure for Barnsley is 4,100, according to research from Sheffield Hallam

FINANCE HSBC jobs slash fury

Unite expressed fury over HSBC’s April decision to slash over 2,000 jobs at its First Direct phone banking business. Unite hasn’t ruled out balloting members for industrial action over HSBC’s behaviour.

HSBC announced it intended to cut over 2,000 jobs UK-wide – and would also create over 1,000 new roles. Displaced workers will be able to reapply for the new roles, but, the majority will either not currently have the right qualifications or will be

10 uniteWORKS May/June 2013

based in the wrong part of the country to be able to secure an alternative job.

Unite national officer Dominic Hook said, “HSBC is making staff suffer in the search for ever greater profits. The bank’s behaviour is a disgrace. These cuts will affect the whole business and will mean fewer personal advisors serving more customers. It’s about putting profits before people and will do nothing to improve service or the image of the banking industry.”

University. Some 660,000 people across the UK could be hit because of the ‘tax’, whose architect is the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith.

Unite’s new website, Our welfare works sets the record straight on welfare, blowing apart the myths that have been used by the government to promote its savage attack on the welfare state.


Mark Thomas

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