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Taunton and Somerset Foundation Trust

Taunton staff urge trust to abandon 'pay cartel'


More than 1,600 staff working at Taunton and Somerset Foundation Trust have signed a petition calling on the board to pull out of the South West Pay, Terms and Conditions Consortium.

The consortium, described as a “pay cartel” by unions, is seeking to reduce the pay bill across the south west region by introducing changes to existing staff terms and conditions.

Taunton and Somerset FT employs around 4,000 staff in total, suggesting less than half signed the petition.

A joint press release from unions representing staff at the trust’s Musgrove Park Hospital said the unions had originally requested to present the petition to the board at its September meeting on Wednesday, but this request was refused by the trust. Instead, the petition was handed to the trust chair Ros Wyke.

The statement said: “The petition, signed by staff from all over the hospital, asks the trust to withdraw from the South West Pay Consortium, a group of 20 NHS trusts who’s collective aim is to reduce the terms and conditions of hard working NHS staff.

“These changes will not only hurt staff financially but will reduce the morale of staff within Musgrove Park Hospital, potentially harming patient care. An additional effect of these planned changes will be its damage to the local economy by reducing the spending power of large numbers of NHS Staff.”  

It added: “These planned changes will be on top of two years of NHS pay freezes.”


Readers' comments (7)

  • "less than half signed the petition!
    oh my god....

    so do you people working there want all these new terms and conditions

    the people that did not sign this petition should hang their head in shame.. you will deserve all you get if these plans go through!!!

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  • I can imagine the next staff survey question could be: would you like your salary halved? let us know individually if you don't, decision will be based on the majority.

    People have to take action now, not bleet + moan afterwards. The cartel won't be part of the NHS, though probably keep its logo as a recognized branding.

    A suggestion for the 20 or so organizations in the cartel. You'll save even more money, maybe millions, by dismissing all executive + senior leadership teams from all trusts in the cartel, with immediate effect + no contractual pay-offs or bonuses, and only have 1 team to manage the new cartel.

    People might have a nimby mentality, but if allowed to continue it will likely affect you in the near future.

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  • When looking at the numbers who have signed, remember that a fair proportion of the 4000 staff are in management and likely not to sign - it was not anonymous and staff are actually very scared of speaking out due to the culture in the Trusts involved in the cartel. many doctors also thought it did not apply to them. There are also likely to be rather less than 4000 jobs since the job cuts of recent years - lets get the up to date figures and a correct assessment of the numbers signing. And why on earth did the trust refuse to even accept an expression of concern from its own staff? Says it all really.

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  • I agree with Anon above there is a lot of fear in the Trusts involved (I work for one of them) people are trying to speak out but get branded as troublemakers. The Doctors in our trust do realise they will be affected and some of those are the most vocal but they are being given a very hard time by the Chief exec and his henchmen.

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  • Many staff truly are scared to sign a petition where they have to give their name. Bullying and victimisation are rife, cuts mean that remaining workers are overloaded to the point of exhaustion if they want to continue to provide even an adequate service for patients, with frontline clinical staff also covering the support roles which have been cut, and dealing with the time consuming problems which develop when understaffing means that we can't get things done efficiently. Complaints increase, clinical incidents increase. Good staff with transferable skills leave. Seems blindingly obvious, and the private sector seem much more aware of how to manage, motivate and value good staff - why can't the NHS?

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  • if you are being bullied by the management then go to your union and put in a bullying and harrasement claim

    stand up for yourself

    it sounds like your unions are very weak, up here in yorkshire we dont stand for this crap by the management..mind you this probably stems from the miners strike in 85!!!!

    we were shafted by this govt then so tend to stand up a bit more

    i feel for the staff down there though...and i hope things pan out well for staff..good luck

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  • In reply to Anon 29th Sept 12.20pm - we have been to our unions since the beginning of this episode. We are told they are refusing to speak to management within the pay cartel because they say the national negotiations are ongoing and to negotiate on a regional basis would imply acceptance of regional pay in principle. They are encouraging us to write to Chief Exec, MP etc but that is all. I envy you if you have unions which will support you better. We need the unions nationally to stand up and say this is not acceptable. Particularly we need legal support over the threat to "disengage" everyone in the Trusts and then "re-engage" them on the new terms. We know that if a service changes, and jobs are no longer needed, that redeployment and negotiation must happen, but, how can contracts be terminated without this being the case?

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