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Unite: “Health And Care Consultation - No Job Loss Commitment Critical”

Following the Minister for Health’s announcement, Unite have stated that the “commitment sought by the Union and provided by the Ministry around no job losses is critical for the success of any potential restructure.”

A statement from Unite follows below:

Unite, the union for workers in Gibraltar, have today (9th April), commenting on the announcement made by the Minister for Health regarding a consultation on a restructure in the Health & Care Sector, stated that the commitment sought by the union and provided by the Ministry around no job losses is critical for the success of any potential restructure. The announcement around the aim of a more joined up, multi-agency approach to patient care with a view to improving the patient experience is underpinned by an important statement that there will be no cuts in the overall budgets for the GHA, ERS and Care Agency coupled with the no job loss commitment.


Stuart Davies, National Officer for Unite Gibraltar stated: “The union has welcomed the early engagement with Unite from the Ministry of Health on the subject of this consultation and proposed restructure. This has enabled the union to gain an early understanding of the aims of the consultation and secure crucial undertakings such as the no job losses commitment. Prima facie the goal of a more joined up, integrated and shared resource multi-agency healthcare approach would appear positive for patients and service users; although there is clearly much to be discussed through the consultation process. It is also incredibly important that the healthcare practitioners are fully engaged in the consultation to ensure that improvements to patient care and after care are ultimately realised.


“Any consultation on a potential restructure would have been severely undermined if there were question marks over jobs and given the commitment received on no job losses those concerns are settled; although clearly we are alive to potential longer term issues around economies of scale linked to a more integrated health and care proposition.


“Part of the announcement relates to the intention to put out for the tender the contracts pertaining to the engagement of agency workers in the sector. This will naturally cause some anxiety within the agency worker population, many of which are Unite members. Initial representations have already been made to HMGOG in respect of the protections that should be afforded agency workers and also the union’s view that any tender exercise should be the opportunity for Government to drive standards at the agencies including around employment and eradicating zero hours contracts. Unite will continue to engage on these matters through the consultation; although the aspiration must be that these agency workers are ultimately employed directly in the public sector.


“Unite will be engaging with shop stewards and members in light of the announcement and wider consultation, with many issues to discuss including the new legislation, GHA Board and the accountability agreement, but clearly job security will remain chief amongst the priorities for the union”.