Thursday, January 06, 2005

End of parity in UK signals changes to local Health Service

Top TGWU officials in Gib

Parity for local health service workers will be coming under the spotlight as the comparability criteria for wages that existed in UK since 1948 is set to disappear from the scene in Britain as from April, Tom Douras TGWU Lead Officer for the NHS declared yesterday. Mr Douras who is on a brief familiarisation visit to the Rock, said the introduction of the new system in Britain based on the job evaluation principle will mean that in Gibraltar some other basis for comparison of wages will have to be put in place.

Speaking to the Chronicle yesterday, Mr Douras said the Union will now be involved in a broad process of consultation with management to see how the new UK arrangements are going to affect working practices, conditions and a whole range of requirements for staff in the Gibraltar health service.

Mr Douras said the move to the new hospital and the lack of communication with the Gibraltar Health Authority management were the more pressing problems he was having to deal with, and declared that this was “a stressful time for all” as the impact of new technologies and working methods was a cause for concern because staff did not know how these changes in UK were going to affect them. Mr Douras added that the emphasis now was on quality of service and stated that the Union would have a say in how the service was to be delivered. He said that good terms and conditions for health workers was essential to ensure this objective.

Meanwhile also visiting the Rock is another TGWU National Officer Peter Allenson who is responsible for the members in the Ministry of Defence. He said that it was important to establish good lines of communication with the Gibraltar branch and for local members to feel that they had the backing of the national organisation in UK.

“We can raise issues with the MoD and the UK Government directly and then refer to local colleagues to see how things affect MoD Union members on the Rock,” said Mr Allenson.

He declared that local Union representatives had expressed their concerns about contractorisation and privatisation, while they were well aware that the issues affecting TGWU members in Gibraltar were very different to the ones in UK. He explained the Union had dealt with this in UK defence reviews and their in-house strategies, like for instance in the fire service had been successful. He said these ‘strategies for future’ would also assist local employees.

Montiel to recruit new Branch Officer

TGWU District Officer Luis Montiel yesterday confirmed that it was his intention to recruit a new Branch Officer for the private sector to take the place of Pepe Nuza who retires this month. Mr Montiel said the Union was keen to replace Mr Nuza to underline their commitment to the private sector, which he said, was a very important area for the TGWU. He said they would soon advertise the post and subsequently call an election to fill the vacancy.


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