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Protests grow over South West Pay Consortium

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NHS staff have launched a series of protests across the South West to fight against the consortium of trusts looking to change pay, terms and conditions.

A series of protests took place this week organised by the South West regional branch of Unison with several events planned for coming months.

On Tuesday members of Unison carried out an early morning demonstration outside the Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust’s Wonford Hospital.

Later that day protesters gathered on Exeter High Street where they spoke with the public and distributed leaflets against the what unions call the “pay cartel”.

An evening rally was held at Exeter Central Library with speakers from Unison and former health minister and Labour MP Ben Bradshaw.

In Weston-super-Mare workers lobbied the Weston Area Health Trust on Tuesday before taking to Weston High Street and asking the public to sign a petition.

Today protests took place in Bristol and Bournemouth.

Further protest events are planned in the coming months as unions ramp up their opposition to the consortium which is looking to change pay, terms and conditions for staff outside of the national Agenda for Change pay framework.

On September 17 staff will lobby the Weston Hospital AGM followed by a protest at the North Somerset Council meeting where a motion against regional pay will be debated on September 25.

Staff will again lobby the Weston Hospital board meetings in October, November and December.

Joanne Kaye, Unsion South West regional secretary said: “Momentum and support is strengthening for this campaign as more and more people are beginning to realise what the pay cartel are doing.

“Regional pay doesn’t work and we believe the public won’t stand for it when they realise how it will affect their health services and the invaluable healthcare staff working for these trusts.”

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