NHS, Trade Unions and Industrial Disputes

#NHS execs speak out against #TUBill #KillTheBill

At my UNISON branch meeting this month we were discussing the impact of the end of ‘DOCAS/Check-off’ (the process of taking trade union subscription fees directly from wages) on our local union membership.

Afterwards our secretary forwarded me this email of 32 NHS directors and executives emailing government minister Matthew Hancock outlining their support for the current arraingments.

The more alarming parts of the bill like enforced arm bands for picketers (or massive fines), and (the now scrapped) clause to force trade unions to send all their facebook and twitter messages during a dispute to the police two weeks in advance, and the hugely undemocratic voting thresholds have understandably taken most of the focus when its discussed.

But (as well as the attacks on facility time and the legal obsticles it places at every level of organising) it is the financial aspects of the bill that will probably have the biggest day to day impact on our unions.  This bill also seriously hamstrings the ways unions are funded (and their ability to fund opposition to the Conservatives).  As such I thought it was worth reprinting the NHS directors letter out in full below.

As it shows these changes are not only completely unneccessary but are also against the wishes of employers who get tangible benefits from the current payment system, and recognise this nakedly political assault on unions ability to organise will have negative ramifications for working relations.

The bill may have passed through the commons, but it has not become law yet.  We need to lobby and put pressure on the Lords and the Government to try and stop as much of this bill as possible.  And if it does make it to law, we need to do what we can to circumvent it.  Unjust laws must be opposed.

Over the week of 8th to 14th of Feburary the TUC is organising a national week of action against the bill.  Find out whats going on in your area or organise something yourself through your union and trades council and get involved.  Together we can beat this.
https://www.tuc.org.uk/union-issues/trade-union-bill/heartunions-week-8-14-february-2016

Concord Health UNISON branch officer Mandy Robinson takes to the mike against the TU Bill, with me and Green comrades in the background.  November 2015

Concord Health UNISON branch officer Mandy Robinson takes to the mike against the TU Bill, with me and Green comrades in the background. November 2015

 

7th October, 2015

 

 

The Rt. Hon. Matthew Hancock, MP,

Minister for the Cabinet Office

   & Paymaster General,

Cabinet Office,

70 Whitehall,
London, SW1A 2AS

 

Also by email to: matthew.hancock.mp@parliament.uk

 

 

 

Dear Sir,

 

Public Sector Check-Off

 

We write as a group of public sector HR Directors in relation to the recent announcement about deducting trade union subscriptions through salaries.

 

You will appreciate these are challenging times across the public sector with significant challenges ahead and this will involve significant consultation and negotiation with trade unions.  We have worked with trade unions over the last few years often in partnership arrangements both locally and nationally (such as the National Social Partnership Forum in Health) to bring about change.  These discussions require good will and transparency on both sides.  Although we understand the government will want to explore all elements of cost avoidance (as we do), we want to highlight the cost savings we achieve through effective consultation and communication with and through trade unions.  It is also helpful for us to easily understand our union density, particularly when we work with multiple trade unions.

 

We believe the announcement on deductions will challenge and change relationships and the partnership approach many of us have worked to develop and ask that you consult extensively with employers about the potential impact before taking a final decision.

 

Effective relationships with trade unions will help us expedite the changes we need to make in ways that minimise the disruption to patients and service users.

 

Yours faithfully,

Dean Royles,
Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development,
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

 

Anita Pisani,
Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Workforce and Service Re-Design,
Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust

 

Susan Tyler,
Director of Workforce Development,
Leeds and York Partnership NHS Trust

 

Marie Fosh,
Director of Workforce & Transformation,
Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust

 

Ros Edwards,
Director of HR and OD,
The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals

 

Amanda Oates,
Executive Director of Workforce,
Merseycare NHS Trust

 

Jon Restell,
Chief Executive,
Managers in Partnership (MiP)

 

Bernard Scully,
Director of Human Resources,
Mid-Essex Hospital

 

Jeff Crawshaw,
Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development,
Colchester Hospital

 

Ruth McAll,
Interim Director of Human Resources,
East of England Ambulance Service

 

Ian Crich,
Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development,
Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Trust

 

Ann McIntyre,
Director of Workforce and Organisational Development,
Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

 

Jon Lenney,
Director of Workforce and Organisational Development,
Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

 

Tracy Hill,
Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development,
5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Isobel Clements,
Director of People,
Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust

Mark Appleby,
Director of Human Resources,
Yeovil NHS Trust

 

Tracey Cottam,
Director of Transformation and Organisational Development,
Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

 

Colin Hague,
Director of Human Resources,
Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust

 

Carol Sparks,
Director of Organisational Development and Human Resources,
2gether NHS Foundation Trust

 

Jenny Turton,
Head of Human Resources,
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust

 

Darran Armitage,
Interim Director of Workforce and Organisational Development,
Devon Partnership NHS Trust

 

Mark Warner,
Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development,
Dorset County Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

 

Tina Ricketts,
Director of Human Resources,
Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Foundation Trust

 

Dave Smith,
Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development,
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

 

Oonagh Fitzgerald,
Director of Workforce and Education,
Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

 

Paul Jones,
Interim Director of Human Resources,
North Bristol NHS Trust

 

Darryn Allcorn,
Director of Human Resources,
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

 

Martin Bamber,
Deputy Director of Human Resources,
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

 

Charles Summers,
Director of Engagement and Development,
NHS Dorset CCG

 

Marianne King,
Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development,
NHS Somerset CCG

 

Martin Ringrose,
Director of Workforce and Organisational Development,
South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

 

Emma Wood,
Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development,
South Western Ambulance Services NHS Foundation Trust

 

Sheridan Flavin,
Director of Human Resources,
Weston Area NHS Trust

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