UNISON NHS members from Nottingham University Hospitals’ Urology Department are receiving a consultation about whether they want to be balloted for industrial action over a ‘management failure to consult’ and ongoing bullying.
Around 40 UNISON members are being asked if they want to proceed to industrial action over a year they describe as ‘horrible’.
They say workforce changes moving them randomly from urology to gynaecology across sites are being forced on them. They also say that when they raised concerns, they were bullied
Now UNISON is balloting them to see if they want to take industrial action to halt this treatment.
“The position is unacceptable,” Jamie Godber, Nottingham University Hospitals Branch Secretary said.
“Our members were told last year they were going to have to move from urology to gynaecology theatres randomly to plug gaps temporarily.
“When they raised concerns, they were shouted at. We raised a grievance and it was all shelved.
“Now it’s come back as a permanent move and they’re not being asked, they’re being told. Gynaecology is different to urology and our members say it’s unfair to expect them to build and maintain expertise in two separate disciplines.
“Moreover, many of them chose to work at City Hospital for child and elder care reasons and will have difficulties being uprooted to go to QMC.”
“This has been a horrible year for us,” one member who did not want to be identified for fear of reprisals said.
“I don’t come into work to be shouted at. The work is hard enough. We’re all also very concerned about keeping patients safe with working in a different area and also some of us leaving because of this. For our opinions to be completely ignored after years of building up experience is shameful really.”
The union say that they are backing the members 100%.
Dave Ratchford, Regional Officer adds, “This is a lose-lose situation that the Trust management have created.
“The Care Quality Commission speaks about a ‘some leaders lacking integrity’ and ‘a culture of bullying’ and that forms too many of our members’ day to day experiences. Skilled urology staff are being deployed in gynaecology when the Trust should be creating an actual specific gynaecology team.
“Senior managers coming in and shouting at staff won’t make that better. In fact, seven members of the Recovery Team have already left creating potentially dangerous shortfalls and stress on those remaining. UNISON will take whatever action these members see fit.”
UNISON’s consultation closes on 3 November and they say if they get more than 50% of affected staff saying yes to strike action, they will proceed to a legal industrial action ballot.