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.”
Joint union press release
26 September 2012