Cutting staff benefits at West Suffolk Hospital is “kicking health workers while they’re down,” UNISON says today.
The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust board voted today on a package of cuts to staff conditions, including reintroducing parking charges from March.
It comes just days after the government announced a real-terms pay cut for more than a million NHS staff this year.
Unions warn that the £1,400 promised for all grades is not enough to deal with the cost of living crisis or stem the flow of staff leaving the health service.
West Suffolk’s new staff benefits package, which will also see an end to free hot drinks and evening meals from September, is essentially a further pay cut, says UNISON.
UNISON Eastern regional organiser Leon Kilbourn said: “Just days after the government announced its totally unsatisfactory NHS pay offer, West Suffolk Hospital has launched its own raid on wages.
“The hospital is already creaking under the pressure of staff shortages, removing the few benefits staff enjoy will do nothing to help.
“Instead of kicking health workers while they’re down, West Suffolk should be looking at ways it can improve staff wellbeing and give them the strength to face the mountain of Covid backlogs. The last thing we need is more burnout and more shortages.”