Unison Scotland has entered a formal dispute with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) over a series of job cuts.

Leading a coalition of trade unions, Unison reps claim the health authority "failed to meaningfully consult with trade unions" over the removal of 63 NHS roles.

A spokesperson for NHSGGC said there were ongoing discussions both locally and through wider partnership engagement on the decision to axe the vacant posts within the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) since April 2023.

Unison expressed fears that the job cuts are indicative of wider cuts expected to be "forced through" the Integration Joint Board (IJB)'s upcoming budget in March.

Glasgow Times:

Cathy Miller, Unison NHS Glasgow Clyde and CVS Branch Secretary, said: “I am shocked at the lack of proper consultation and partnership working on last year’s job cuts and there is a huge worry that the same will be repeated on a much bigger scale this year.

"All we know is that a fundamental reset of services is being put together behind the scenes, but we have not seen the detail and we know there has been no consultation with the public.

"As a trade unionist and as a nurse, I’m calling on Glasgow people to stand up and fight for their NHS before more services are cut and more people suffer.”

Lorcan Mullen, Unison Scotland Regional Organiser, added that the proposed "fundamental reset of services" had left members scared for the future of vital community health services.

He said: “We are deeply frustrated with the lack of progress on a range of grievances relating to the 2023 budget round and we are disturbed to see the Glasgow City IJB agree in principle a cuts-driven ‘fundamental reset of service delivery’ spanning mental health, district nursing, addiction services and a range of other fundamentally important community health services.

"Union representatives have been given no detail about the coming cuts, and time is running out for the consultation staff and Glasgow citizens deserve."

Glasgow Times:

He added: "Our members in these services have been operating close to breaking point for years now. The idea of working with even fewer resources, with more unmet needs, with exacerbated health inequalities, is a source of huge anxiety and anger for our members working in NHS roles in the HSCPs.

"We call on the Scottish Government to resource these services fully and properly, and we call on Glasgow’s political representatives to stand up for services and NHS workers.”

Unison warned that further cuts to NHSGGC could cost more in the long run through added prescription costs, more costly acute care, and delays in getting people in and out of hospital.

The toll on remaining staff – losing experienced, committed NHS workers to sickness absence or resignation – is also a huge cost risk to the service.

Glasgow Times:

A spokesperson for the NHSGGC said: "Information has been shared with our trade unions through their local partnership forum and in separate meetings relating to the concerns raised.  

"While difficult funding decisions have had to be made as a result of the challenging funding conditions we are all facing, and we do recognise how hard our staff are working, these posts had been vacant for some time and their removal has not increased the workload on our staff.

"NHSGGC and the Glasgow City HSCP will continue to engage with our trade unions and professional organisations and continue to explore how we can resolve any outstanding concerns."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We expect NHS Scotland Health Boards to demonstrate a strong commitment to partnership working when resolving disputes that arise with NHS Scotland staff and their trade unions.

“Decisions on how best to deliver services for local communities are ultimately for integration authorities to make in consultation with people who use services and in full awareness of the impact on them.

"This has to be a continuous way of working that appropriately seeks to understand the needs of local people and how best to meet them.”