Tagged: financial services

South Tees Health trust advertises for 11 new roles – days after telling 40 staff their jobs are to go

Eleven new finance jobs worth at least £400,000 have been advertised at a health trust – days after nearly 40 staff in the same department were told their jobs are to go.

The move has angered the workers facing redundancy, who today described it as “just another smack in the face”.

If the 11 new staff were appointed at the bottom of the pay scale their wages would still cost South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust nearly £400,000 a year.

At the top end the wages would be closer to half-a-million pounds.

Most of the jobs were advertised on the website jobs.nhs.uk just days after 37 payroll workers were told their roles were being “outsourced” to Lancashire.

As reported, the shock news – two days before Christmas – left staff reeling.

One staff member said: “We are mad that jobs are going from Teesside.

“Our area suffers enough and it’s the knock-on effect for our families.”

Trust chiefs say the review of financial services is part of a programme to save £90m over three years – “that will eventually touch all areas of the organisation”.

From April 2015 services provided by the trust’s payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable teams will move to East Lancashire Financial Services, part of Calderstone Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Among the 11 new positions now being advertised in the trust’s finance department are a head of financial management on £65,922-£81,618 per annum, head of financial governance and control, also on £65,922- £81,618, and financial controller on between £39,239-£47,088.

One of the payroll staff, who asked to remain anonymous, said:

We all feel appalled and let down by the way we have been treated.

“The timing of advertising the positions in finance is just another smack in the face.

“How can the trust possibly justify this sort of spending at a time when it is in such deficit and other departments trust-wide are being told job losses are inevitable?”

Payroll staff will be subject to TUPE transfer, under which they would keep certain employment rights, to East Lancashire Financial Services, say the trust.

But chief executive, Professor Tricia Hart said:

“The board recognises that moving may not be a viable option for some staff.

“In those cases the trust will work with individual staff members to look for alternative roles at South Tees, in line with the trust’s policies.”

Responding to the job adverts a South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokeswoman said:

“The trust is working hard to achieve a number of savings plans and financial initiatives which have been developed to ensure the organisation makes the required savings over the next three years.

“In order to achieve these plans it is crucial that financial support is available. We have looked at our current structure and are recruiting to essential posts.

“In line with our savings plans any posts which are not essential will be removed from our structure.”

Source –  Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 03 Jan 2015

Hospital trust tells staff nearly 40 jobs are to go – two days before Christmas

Nearly 40 Middlesbrough hospital staff were told two days before Christmas that their jobs are being “outsourced” to Lancashire.

The shock news has left workers reeling in the payroll department at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Trust chiefs say the review of financial services is part of a programme to save £90m over three years – “that will eventually touch all areas of the organisation”.

From April, 2015 services provided by the trust’s payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable teams will move to East Lancashire Financial Services, part of Calderstone Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Over the last three months the 37 full and part-time staff in those teams have had weekly meetings with managers about the review.

They received confirmation yesterday of the trust board’s decision to move the services to another NHS provider.

Staff effected will be subject to TUPE transfer, under which they would keep certain employment rights, to East Lancashire Financial Services, say the trust.

But chief executive, Professor Tricia Hart said:

“The board recognises that moving may not be a viable option for some staff.

“In those cases the trust will work with individual staff members to look for alternative roles at South Tees, in line with the trust’s policies.”

She added: “It is never a good time to make decisions that have a major impact on lives of staff, and we would not normally want to make such an announcement so close to Christmas.

“However in our discussions with staff over the last three months they have made it clear they wanted to know about any decision on the future of their services as soon as it was made.

“We will now be working on the detail of the contract with East Lancashire Financial Services over the coming months, and during that period we will support the staff affected by the change, having one-to-one discussions with individuals as well as team meetings to keep them up to date with details of the outsourcing process.”

Prof Hart said, in making the decision, the board “did give detailed consideration to a proposal put forward by staff to keep the services in-house, but unfortunately it did not offer the same benefits as the outsourcing option.”

A staff member said:

“We are mad that jobs are going from Teesside. Our area suffers enough and it’s the knock-on effect for our families.

“It’s only two days before Christmas.

“There’s a TUPE situation, but they will probably do that to get out of paying us redundancies.

“People are not going to take their families to East Lancashire.

“It’s been in the pipeline since early September – and they’ve waited until now to tell us officially.

“We said we could match them, so it wouldn’t cost any more and they wouldn’t outsource but they’ve gone for outsourcing.

“They haven’t treated us fairly. Everyone is really upset, especially when you see the big wigs getting their salary increases, then staff losing their jobs the next week.”

The trust says the outsourcing option will also free up space at The James Cook University Hospital to allow IT staff to move back on site from Eggleston Court in Middlesbrough, saving money on rented accommodation.

Source –  Middlesbrough Evening Gazette,  24 Dec 2014

Newcastle Building Society axes charity accounts

Charities and clubs across the North East have been told they are no longer welcome at Newcastle Building Society.

The Tyneside lender has contacted local groups to say it will no longer be providing the special accounts reserved for good causes.

Charities will instead have to go to other high street banks, losing the local links with a trusted lender. Bank accounts for community groups typically see charges that would normally be made on business accounts waived, with other preferential rates and services on offer.

Newcastle Building Society said it had not offered the charity accounts to new users for many years and pointed to “greatly increased” administration costs when contacting customers.

The building society’s decision is the latest blow to the region’s charity sector to come from the banking industry. Already Virgin Money has announced it will not be supporting the Northern Rock Foundation, ending nearly two-decades of funding for the charity.

Voluntary groups have now said they hope the building society will continue to back local causes.

Carrie Brookes from the Voluntary Organisation Network North East, said: “This is sad news, removing the last local bank for charities to choose for their banking. It also follows a bad few weeks of news following the failure of the Northern Rock Foundation talks. We hope Newcastle Building Society will continue to support local charities and community groups in alternative ways as we understand they have in the past.”

Newcastle Council leader Nick Forbes was among those questioning the society’s decision.

He said: “Many clubs, societies and charities prefer to bank with building societies because they are seen as more ethical and locally based than banks. I’m therefore extremely disappointed to hear that Newcastle Building Society, having provided such services for decades, is pulling out of charity banking.

“This is causing great inconvenience to all those affected, with all the hassle of having to open new accounts, as well as sending a message that charities aren’t profitable enough for them. I urge the Newcastle Building Society to think again about how important strong local roots are in financial services before it is too late.”

Last night a Newcastle Building Society spokeswoman said: “The change forms part of the society’s wider simplification programme. We haven’t offered these accounts to new customers for several years and they do not form part of our core offering. Most of these accounts were set up a long time ago and many of the accounts are inactive.

“We wrote to account holders several months in advance of this to provide as much notice as possible.”

Source – Newcastle Journal  09 May 2014

Osborne’s bid to end democracy by the back door

Vox Political

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The Coalition government has finally put its cards on the table, calling for the completion of a ‘free trade’ agreement with the United States of America that will end democracy as we know it today.

Do you think this statement is needlessly hyperbolic? In fact, it probably does not make the point strongly enough!

You will lose the ability to affect government policy – particularly on the National Health Service; after the Health and Social Care Act, the trade agreement would put every decision relating to its work on a commercial footing. The rights of transnational corporations would become the priority, health would become primarily a trade issue and your personal well-being would be of no consequence whatsoever.

Profit will rule.

Also threatened would be any other public service that has been privatised by this and previous governments, along with any that are privatised in the future; all would fall…

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