250 employees of Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust will take their first day´s strike today, Wednesday January 31st. This follows a 91.6% ballot result in favour of strike action.
The strike action will be taken by 250 community nurses, occupational therapists and team secretaries to stop the cuts in community mental health teams which include:
* reduction in staffing numbers in community mental health teams and consequent higher caseloads, and a reduction in service to keep people well
* job freeze on all nursing posts in the Trust as there will be 33 less nursing posts and 8 less OT posts (yet they can afford an expansion of 24 extra managers at a cost of £1.25 million!!)
* downgrading of most nursing, occupational therapy and admin staff,
* possibilities of compulsory redundancies,
* possible privatisation of four community teams,
* closure of one of the south Manchester old age day centres and 7day support team.
There will be picket lines at
* Chorlton House, 70 Manchester Rd, Chorlton,
* MRI corner of Oxford Rd and Hathersage Rd,
* North Manchester general hospital, Delauney Rd, Crumpsall,
* Kath Locke health centre, corner of Moss Lane and Alexander Rd, Moss side,
* Beech Mount, corner with Rochdale Rd, Harpurhey.
Strikers will assemble for a photo call at 11.45am at the Queen Victoria statue in Piccadilly before going to a strike rally at 12noon in Central Methodist Hall, Oldham St, for a joint rally with other strikers out the same day i.e. civil servants, Fujitsu workers.
Further information is available from Karen Reissmann, UNISON branch chair and one of the striking community nurses on 07977 986 179 or from Andy Gill, UNISON regional officer, UNISON North West Regional office on 0161 211 1000.