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Date: 24 April 2008

Unions consult on possible industrial action at Carstairs Hospital

Health unions (UNISON, RCN and POA) representing staff at The State Hospital, Carstairs today responded angrily to the unilateral imposition by management of a new nursing shift pattern by formally registering a dispute.

The Staff Side met earlier today with management at a scheduled Joint Negotiating Committee concerning management's proposed imposition of a change to the Nursing Shift Pattern. The Management refused to rescind their letter of imposition reiterating that it was their intention to impose a change to the Nursing Shift pattern on 1st June 2008.

The Staff Side responded they were unable to negotiate whilst the ‘gun' of imposition was being held to their head and withdrew from the meeting. The unions will now consult members over industrial action at the high security hospital.

UNISON Regional Organiser, Bridget Hunter said: "Industrial relations at the hospital have been poor for some time. The action of management today appears to be deliberately provocative and totally contrary to the partnership approach that is supposed to operate in NHS Scotland. In this face of this intransigence by management we have no option but to consult our members over possible industrial action”.

The State Hospital at Carstairs is a national service for both Scotland and Northern Ireland with around 700 NHS staff. Assessment, treatment and care is provided in conditions of special security for individuals with mental disorder who, because of their dangerous, violent or criminal propensities, cannot be cared for in any other setting.


For Further Information Please Contact: Bridget Hunter (Regional Organiser) 07958 120780 (m) Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser) 0845 355 0845 (w) 07958 122 409 (m)