The general secretary of the UK’s largest union has called on Northampton General Hospital to “abandon its war” against biomedical staff currently on strike.
Len McCluskey visited staff outside NGH on Friday morning ahead of the union’s legal injunction to stop the trust from using agency staff which is expected to be heard by the Administrative Court in London.
Mr McCluskey, Unite general secretary, said: “I’m calling on Dr Sonia Swart to abandon her war on NHS workers and get back around the table to negotiate a solution. This dispute has far-reaching implications for industrial relations across the NHS and is destroying the goodwill of dedicated NHS staff.
“Under no circumstances should NGH’s bullying and intimidatory tactics signal a new era of aggressive employee relations in the government’s newly privatised NHS.
“We’re witnessing the first ever instance of union-busting in the NHS. NGH’s callous attempts to starve our members into signing new contracts on significantly worse terms are scandalous and must not become a precedent in the NHS.
“The people of Northampton deserve to know why these highly professional men and women trained to degree level and beyond with hundreds of years of experience between them are now spending their days locked out at the hospital gates. This is happening while the hospital sends complex cases many miles away to London’s Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals for testing,” he added.
The protest is over changes to the terms and conditions which workers say will cost them £6,000 a year and will result in a doubling of their night shift working.