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Unison: 'amount of extra time that staff donate to trusts is staggering'
10:48am Wednesday 30th January 2013 in News
UNION members paraded giant invoices at two local health trusts to draw attention to the extra hours they say staff are putting in to keep frontline services going.
Public service trade union Unison used the trusts’ own figures and a survey to work out that staff at Poole Hospital donate more than £6.5million worth of time above and beyond their contracted hours every year, while staff at Dorset HealthCare Trust donate nearly £9.8 million.
Both are among 19 trusts in the south west pay, terms and conditions consortium, set up last year. Unison calls the organisation a “cartel” and fears it will be used to drive down pay in the region.
At the moment, health trusts stick to nationally negotiated agreements.
The consortium is chaired by Poole Hospital chief executive Chris Bown. He is due to lose his job under plans to merge his trust with that of the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals, which has already opted out of the consortium. Another absentee is South Western Ambulance.
Mr Bown said: “Staff at Poole Hospital work extremely hard to ensure our patients receive a first rate service, and this contribution is recognised and valued at the highest level.”
Helen Eccles, Unison regional organiser, said: “We have long campaigned against trusts in the south west seeking to reduce terms and conditions for hardworking staff.
“The figures are quite simply staggering and we believe are even that is on the conservative side. We want to make clear to managements that it is not only staff goodwill that they put at risk but there is also a financial cost to the trusts.”