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Proposed changes could mean month of unpaid work for nurses

Monday, January 18th, 2016 | News

How would you feel if you were asked to take longer unpaid breaks each shift, when you already have to work for free through the short ones you’re supposed to have?

Well at South Tees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, this is exactly what nurses are being asked to do.

Proposed new changes to breaks will mean nurses on day-long shifts will have their unpaid breaks increased from 30 to 60 minutes – but many nurses already struggle to find time to take their 30 minute break and are forced to continue working, unpaid. So chances of finding a spare 60 minutes are even less likely.

On top of this, to make up working hours lost through longer breaks, nurses will be required to work an additional shift every eight weeks.

Unhappy about the proposed changes, over 4,000 people have signed an online petition protesting and the issue has already reached parliament.

The trust’s director, Gill Hunt told Nursing Times the shift pattern had been successfully implemented in 12 wards at South Tees and was designed to “ensure staff working longer days have adequate breaks” and “make the most efficient use of nursing and midwifery resource”.

However, she also added she would listen to the views of frontline staff: “We are currently in a period of consultation in relation to the changes and are taking the time to listen to our staff on an individual and team basis”.

If you’re an NHS worker who’s getting tired of being overworked and underpaid, why not contact your local Kare Plus branch to see if we could change your working life. 

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