Union blasts health ‘celebration’

A UNION has hit out after claims health chiefs are staging a “celebration” event while workers are being made redundant.

Public sector union Unison says it is appalled that the four chief executives of the Teesside primary care trusts, which include Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland, are hosting a “lavish” party, while staff are facing redundancy.

But Cameron Ward, accountable officer for NHS Tees, said: “An event has been organised for staff to mark the end of the four PCTs which is intended to recognise all the hard work, enormous dedication, extra hours and work that staff have undertaken over the last year of transition to the new NHS architecture and to celebrate what has been achieved over the last 12 years of existence.

“With such a significant change programme there is likely to be a number of staff affected. NHS Tees has 15 staff employed on a fixed-term contract which will end at the end of March.

“Under the fixed-term regulations they would not be eligible for a redundancy payment.

“This is in common with other industries.Unfortunately a small number of other staff are being made redundant and will be receiving a redundancy payment.”

Mike Hill, Unison regional organiser, said: ”It is deplorable that while they are making people unemployed the chief executives of the primary care trusts for Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton, can see fit to squander public money on a champagne reception when staff are losing their jobs.”

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