Dear friends and supporters ,
Speech and Language Therapists (SALT) were celebrating in Southwark yesterday (3MAR11) when the reduction in funding to SALT services announced by Southwark Council was far less than had been anticipated and Unite members are now well placed to defend jobs and services , following their one day strike against redundancies in February.
Thanks to a high profile campaign which had fantastic support from parents , schools the local community and trade unions , the local authority has obviously had second thoughts about taking the axe to a popular and essential front- line service for vunerable children.
Although funding from Southwark Council will be cut by 30% , this represents a smaller reduction in service than had been predicted, and should allow Southwark PCT to create some new SALT posts, which would be prioritised for the eleven Southwark SALTs at risk of redundancy should they wish to apply for them. Where staff at risk of redundancy have found other jobs and wish to move on , Unite will be campaiging to protect their posts and the services they provide.
Southwark SALTs are linking their campaign with colleagues across the country, and when they met with Shadow Health Minister John Healy this week, he gave his support to Unite's plan to hold an evidence - gathering session at the House of Commons, where SALTs from across the country will be invited to provide information about the impact of cuts on SALT services.
Unite's campaign to save Speech and Language Therapy jobs and services goes from strength to strength and Southwark SALTs are calling on other NHS staff and service users to join them outside the Department of Health in Whitehall on Wednesday 9th March at 4pm , when Southwark SALTs will hand in over 2,000 petitions against the redundancies. Following this we will be joining other NHS staff and the public on the march to defend NHS jobs at the Royal London in Whitechapel at 5pm , going through the City of London and finishing at Barts.
While we are aware that there is still much to fight for , SALTs in Southwark have shown that if you are prepared to speak up and stand up for your clients and your jobs , it is more than possible to stop the cuts, and are very grateful for the tremendous support we have received.
Our dispute is not over yet , so please keep sending messages of support
Tell your friends join the other two thousand signing the online petition -
Stephen Hack , Southwark SALT Unite workplace rep