50,000 NHS job losses are the tip of a huge iceberg

50,000 NHS job losses are the tip of a huge iceberg

The government says that the RCN claims of 50,000 job losses in the NHS are 'typical trade union scaremongering'. 50,000 is an understatement and just the tip of the iceberg.

The announcement by the Royal College of Nursing, that 50,000 front line jobs have been slashed in the NHS has been labelled as ‘fanciful’ and ‘typical trade union scaremongering’ by the government. They still insist that they have protected front line services. They are of course, liars.

Prior to recently moving into education, I worked as a nurse in the NHS for several years and have experienced first-hand the skulduggery that is used to mask the systematic reduction in staffing.

The RCN have been putting their figures together over the last two years. They have not just made dubious predictions or asked employers for the truth. They have relied on members sending in details about job losses. There is a clear disparity in what the workers say, and what the government and employers say. There are several reasons for this discrepancy which amount to little more than corruption and lies on the behalf of the bosses.

Firstly, there is a great deal of ‘creative accountancy’ used when a service closes. If a ward or department closes permanently, any idiot can see that there are job losses. Not all employers will record that in the same way. They do not regard a service closure as job losses, but will accept that individual jobs disapearing are a job loss. I know of a service that closed resulting in over fifty jobs disappearing. However, the organisation in question denies that jobs were lost.

Secondly, the turnover of staff in the NHS can be high, particularly among support staff. In the last two years I have seen many staff leave, but their vacancies were then ‘frozen’ and remain frozen to this day, meaning that they cannot be filled. The employers will have you believe that the job still exists, but in actual fact they have gone forever. They slowly disappear from budgets as each year goes by. Employers save these vacancies up, so that when they are told to make budget cuts for the next year, they just cash in their notional vacancy that has remained empty for years. The NHS is currently carrying thousands of these empty posts that will never be advertised as a vacancy, but on any official records they still count as a job.

Thirdly, employers will boast they will never make compulsory redundancies. What I have seen happen is that staff are forced to work ad-hoc across a geographic area covering hundreds of miles, when they refuse, they are dismissed as it is classed as a reasonable alternative. I have seen senior staff who earn £40,000 a year working full time, offered fifteen hours a week on £15,000 pro rata. When they decline, they are dismissed as they have refused a reasonable alternative. What some employers call ‘reasonable’ depends on “the economic climate at the time.” Their words not mine. Others are given a zero-hours contract or a bank contract, and told they will be dismissed if they decline. Employers will then brag that they have managed to keep everyone in work.

Jobs are often downgraded and called something different, and not classed as a job loss, despite in reality the job has been lost. When people are dismissed after being on the sick for two years, their vacancies are wiped from the books. If people reduce their hours to part time, their surplus hours are wiped from the books.

So, if they government and employers were asked to show us the books, there would be very minimal job losses if any. However the reality is very different. The 50,000 job losses that the RCN have highlighted are not ‘hearsay’ they are based on actual staff reporting jobs that have disappeared from their areas. The government are either liars or just plain stupid. I know where my money is.

I also want to talk about the workers that the government seem to think are ok to be fired off. They keep banging on about back room staff and administrators as if they are the shit on the bottom of their fucking shoes. Just for the record, front line clinical staff, of which I was one, would not be able to do my job effectively without support staff. That is why we have those roles. These are essential jobs, not jobs for a bit of fucking fun. These people have wives, husbands, children, families, and houses to pay for. The government tries to portray them as vermin who suck the life from the NHS.

The government must think we are fucking stupid.

Posted By

working class s...
Nov 21 2011 20:09

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