In Nottingham City Hospitals, 44 Unison members are being asked if they want to take industrial action because of the culture of bullying by management. The workers were told to move from urology to gynaecology theatres randomly to plug gaps. That is unsafe for patients and unfair to workers, but the same sort of thing is happening all over the NHS.
Last year, a similar number of different members took out a grievance after being bullied to deal unsafely with the huge numbers dying from Covid.
Local MPs both Tory and Labour local MPs have met with management after a report by the Care and Quality Commission report said that some bullying cases were “directly attributable to racial discrimination”. They described the report as “shocking and deeply saddening”.
Maternity services were also rated inadequate by the CQC and midwives have spoken to national papers how they are regularly in tears over the understaffing that has led to dozens of babies dying or being brain damaged.
The Tory anti-union laws prevent action being taken immediately following a workplace meeting, though speedy response could prevent deaths and suffering. Instead, this action in urology requires yet more ballots, though the dispute was lodged over a year ago.
Already seven workers have left because, as one said: “This has been a horrible year for us. I don’t come to work to be shouted at. The work is hard enough. For our opinions to be completely ignored after years of building up experience is shameful really”.
That sums up how over a million workers feel with a pay award of 3% (a pay cut with inflation around 5%), a 100,000 staff shortage, and Covid hospitalisations increasing. We need action now, not Unison taking a second consultation.