Blog 2: A time to care (07/02/17)

Welcome to UNISON LTHT’s second chairman’s blog. We are becoming regular (I said that in Hattie Jacques voice).

For those of you who missed our first blog (how dare you) my name is John and I work in theatres by day, and work for UNISON by night (or something like that).

“2017 – A time to care” – This is a campaign we are working on within branch. We hear so many consistent tales from you of working flat out, missing breaks, finishing late, and generally being that fly with the blue derriere. You do it because you have that same shared commitment that all NHS workers have, and I tip my trilby to you all.

This year we are hoping to work with the trust to find ways to both maximise your time with patients, but also find time to look after yourselves. We don’t want any of you finishing later than scheduled, or missing your breaks. You’re not paid during your lunch for a start, and it is dangerous to work without nourishment (a kitkat is minimum). Policy, Health and Safety Law, and other thrilling dusty tomes say TAKE YOUR BREAKS !!! If you find it impossible to take your breaks then inform your line manager, give us a call, or fill in a datix form. Let 2017 be the year you embrace the gastro splendour of the glorious staff canteens.

Do you know the Tories have stopped bursaries and tuition fees for nursing and other health professional students? Do you think that’s fair? I (we) think it is a ridiculous decision, and one that will lead to a shortage of students in the future. Numbers are down for this year already.  Student nurses are effectively paying to work on our wards (and as much as I love my job I don’t fancy that).

If you are a constituent of the following conservative MP’s  and want to express your “delight” at this enlightened Tory policy can I suggest you give the following angels a candid piece of advice direct from the shop floor….

Elmet and Rothwell – Alec Shelbrooke – 01937 589 002

Morley and Outwood – Andrea Jenkyns – 0113 345 0380

Pudsey – Stuart Andrew – 0113 258 5615

Keep it clean and professional but leave them in no doubt that you will not tolerate this foolishness, and vow to make them suffer by giving them a future kick directly to the voting booth (ouch) if they continue this betrayal of the NHS.

ON the 4th march the branch will be demonstrating in London to help save #OurNHS. If you fancy joining us for these high jinks then give the branch a buzz.

After all that heavy lobbying I will leave you with some highly relevant literature from 1819 written by some lass called Shelley apparently…

‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number –
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you –
Ye are many – they are few.’

…..speak soon xxx

(The views expressed here are not necessarily the views of the UNISON Leeds Teaching Hospitals Branch)