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North Wales health board decision to shelve rota proposals a “victory” for campaigners

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Wednesday, Nov 6th, 2019.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) has decided not to progress with proposals to change the rosters of nurses, healthcare support workers and operating department practitioners.

The health board had claimed the move was designed to standardise shift patterns, break times and handover periods.

However, it was met with an outcry from nurses and health care supporter workers, who could be forced to take on additional shifts to meet their contracted hours from January.

Last week Unite Wales, which has led a campaign opposing the health board’s decision and amassed more than 4,500 signatures on an online petition, described the proposals as “wholly unacceptable”.

The union has argued that the changes could result in staff working an extra unpaid shift each month.

Today Unite Wales has welcomed news that the health board will not progress with its proposals.

A planned demonstration in North Wales opposing the proposals has been cancelled for tomorrow.

Reacting to the news today, Peter Hughes, Unite Wales regional secretary said: “The decision by Betsi Cadwaladr not to progress with the changes to staff rosters is a victory for our campaign and will come as a huge relief to the thousands of nurses and health professionals who would have been affected.

“We welcome the fact that Betsi Cadwaladr has listened to our concerns and decided to think again. We also welcome their commitment to work constructively alongside all trade unions representing BCUHB staff.

“We expect future consultations with us to be far more meaningful than has been the case over this divisive issue. What we certainly will not accept is any further attempt to bring forward changes to staff rosters under another guise.

“This is now an opportunity for Betsi Cadwaladr to put this issue behind it and to encourage a positive climate of industrial relations that can help rebuild the confidence of staff and the general public.

“It is in the interests of all stakeholders, most importantly the patients, that Betsi Cadwaladr can rely on a workforce that feels truly valued and listened to”.

It’s understood BCUHB received a joint letter from Unison, the RCN and Unite requesting that they do not progress with the proposed changes to nurse rotas until further discussions have taken place.

Gary Doherty, Chief Executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “We welcome the joint communication from Unison, RCN and Unite.

“We are absolutely committed to working together with our Trades Union partners.

“While we focus on our partnership working and how to move forward together, we will not progress the proposed changes.

“We can also confirm that the agenda for the Extraordinary Local Partnership Meeting to be held on Friday 8th November will be dedicated to this matter.”

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