I am not repeating the details of all the events on previous lists so please remind yourselves of those by looking back.
8th March Diggers Festival. Details in previous newsletters, but an urgent change of evening venue has come through:
Due to circumstances outside of our control the Diggers Festival evening event will no longer be taking place at Gleneagles Social Club. The event is now continuing direct after the ‘fringe’ from 7:30pm in the Horseshoe Inn, 36 Sheep Street, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 1BS. If you are driving there is plenty of free car parking in the town
centre nearby (please note – during the afternoon the Morrisons carpark is only free for 3 hours – otherwise I think you could be charged). If you have any concerns or enquiries please do not hesitate to contact me on 07958 639 692.
There will be plenty of real ale and its a great live music venue in Wellingborough and I would like to say a big thank you to Debbie and Nick at the Horseshoe for their support.
8th March International Women’s Day – see below for two useful links.
10th March 7.00 pm NTUC Meeting Old Black Lion. Agenda and Mins have been sent out by John. Please see below for summary of interesting report from Unite about NGH and cuts to the out of hours pathology service payments.
15th March People’s Assembly reminder: http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/recall_conference.
16th March Red Rope Walk: The next Northampton Red Rope walk takes place on Sunday 16th March. Meet at 10 a.m. outside the Church of St Michael & All Angels, Creaton. (G.R. 706 718—Post Code for shop/Post Office near the church is NN6 8NA) A varied walk with sweeping panoramic views at times, via Hollowell and Cottesbrooke. Please e-mail Roger Rees if you are going to join us on this walk. Details of this walk and Red Rope Poster March. The Northampton Red Rope group can be contacted via the website at: http://northampton-redrope-walking-group.org.uk/
7 and 8 April Searchlight Conference. The University of Northampton’s School of Social Sciences will be playing host to a conference to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the anti-fascist Searchlight group. Searchlight, formed as an occasional newspaper and later anti-fascist press agency and from 1975 a regular magazine, has been at the forefront of the anti-fascist movement for half a century. For details and registration please contact email@example.com
NGH management have terminated the NGH Pathology Composite Agreement 2002 which linked the development of the Pathology 24/7 availability of diagnostic laboratory tests
and a reward package for laboratory staff. There is no basis for the current moves by NGH management to cut Out of Hours payments for Pathology staff by
80% – meaning a reduction of up to a third of members pay, apart from the panic reduction of the NGH pay bill due to government cuts to the so called “ring fenced” NHS budget.
Their declaration of “wanting to take the cost out” of Pathology OOH is both unrealistic and irresponsible by NGH management and, if implemented, will lead to the collapse of a service providing 24/7 blood tests for NGH patients. It is likely that the current situation will end with industrial action by the Pathology blood test staff.
Collapse of NHS 24/7 blood test provision has occurred in other parts of the country when cost saving initiatives have been imposed by NHS management. This resulted in high
cost locum staff having to be employed at agency rates which are far in excess of NHS rates.
It is strange then that NGH are prepared to employ locum medical staff in NGH A/E for £1500 – a night – yet seem to begrudge highly qualified, in house, diagnostic support staff £7500- per year – to provide this increasingly vital service on a 24/7 basis including every night, weekend, bank holiday. NorthantsUNITE Health Sector Branch fully support the NGH Pathology membership and condemn NGH management for their incompetent management of this situation.
Hospital Closure Clause: On Tuesday, the government could get free rein to close hospitals across the country. But, MPs will now have a chance to vote on an amendment which would scrap the hospital closure clause. Can you contact your MP to ask them to vote for this crucial solution? Please go to list of petitions and pick one on closures to email your MP. http://www.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns
Community Action & Advice Weekly drop-in advice surgery: St James Community Centre on St James Square, every Friday 10:30am – 1:00pm. Support and donations from the following groups have made this possible: Northampton Defend Council Housing, Northants Disabled People Against Cuts & Northampton Save Our Services. http://northamptondefendcouncilhousing.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/weekly-drop-in-surgery-up-and-running/
Support Women of Cambodia: http://strongerunions.org/2014/03/07/world-is-watching-as-women-workers-protest-in-cambodia/
Abolition of the Independent Living Fund Touchstone Article: http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2014/03/abolishing-the-independent-living-fund