Isle of Man healthcare workers consider industrial action |


The Prospect union is voting members of the healthcare sector on a possible strike for the new year.

The threat came due to salary disputes and low morale among staff.

In a dazzling statement, the union said: “Cheering in support of our healthcare workers won’t pay their food bills, it won’t pay the increase in their heating bills, and it certainly won’t help buy a property.’

Mick Hewer, Prospect’s bargaining agent, said he was disappointed to have to hold a consultative ballot to formally seek advice from members working in the island’s health services, after Manx Care did not has “not presented a significant wage offer”.

Prospect and other Manx Care unions have been in talks with the employer since early April and have submitted a claim to the employer with supporting documents.

Mr Hewer said: “Our members are tired of meaningless talk. There has been no movement, only promises to seek more funding from the treasury.

“Our members tell me that it is time for the employer to realize the crisis it is facing.

“Staff shortages, low morale and a slow hemorrhage of staff leaving to seek better pay elsewhere add to the problem. It is unacceptable.

“Our members and those of our sister unions have worked tirelessly for months under difficult circumstances.

“Their salary does not reflect the skills, dedication and commitment required to perform their duties and to add insult to injury, some of our members receive invoices for their registration fees with their Christmas cards.

“Our members tell me verbally that they are ready to take industrial action in order to obtain better wages.

“This is one more step towards the emergence of trade union action in their health services on the island.

“Traditionally, health professionals have not taken industrial action, but now they have their backs to the wall.

“We cannot continue to accept wage rewards which, after the effects of inflation, are meaningless and lead to the erosion of the net salary in real terms by inflation.”

He added: “While the board of Manx Care [were] in their Christmas dinner this year, maybe they [needed] reflect on their colleagues who continue to provide care to those who are sick this time of year, to those who continue to work on the front lines to combat the effects of the pandemic, and to those who have sacrificed their Christmas for profit others.

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“Applauding in support of our healthcare workers won’t pay their food bills, it won’t pay the increase in their heating bills and it certainly won’t help with the purchase of a property.

“Manx Care must act now. They need to come up with something substantial immediately or it is likely that our members will take industrial action next year.

A spokesperson for Manx Care said: “Manx Care has inherited a number of personnel issues across multiple divisions of its fledgling organization.

“Teresa Cope, Managing Director of Manx Care, supported by the Board of Directors, is working hard to implement a range of support strategies, including the appointment of permanent staff to alleviate pressure on colleagues.

“As is the case across the NHS, pay and terms remain a major issue that the Manx Care management team continue to work to address.”

They added, “Manx Care recognizes the impact of staff shortages and pay conditions, so it is working to improve this position across the organization.

“These questions are a priority for the organization. He is fully aware of the regular feedback sessions with staff on morale and the pressures the service is currently under. ‘

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