Redundancy fears for Sunshine staff

Sunshine Nursery, Bassetlaw Hospital, Kilton Hill, Worksop.'Protest against the closure of the nursery.'Picture: Pictured in support of the protest is Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, Jo Mann - MP John Mann's wife and Coun Sybil Fielding.  Pictured with parents and children who use the service. w100922-4a
Sunshine Nursery, Bassetlaw Hospital, Kilton Hill, Worksop.'Protest against the closure of the nursery.'Picture: Pictured in support of the protest is Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, Jo Mann - MP John Mann's wife and Coun Sybil Fielding. Pictured with parents and children who use the service. w100922-4a
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MOVES to issue compulsory redundancy notices at Bassetlaw Hospital’s doomed Sunshine Nursery next month have been labelled by a hospital union spokesman as “disappointing”.

Up to 10 full-time posts stand to be affected at the 50-place nursery following the Trust’s announcement last year it could no longer afford to subsidise each £4,000 place.

UNISON’s Doncaster, District and Bassetlaw Health’s acting branch secretary Rianne Johnson said staff are extremely worried about the future.

“We are extremely disappointed and believe the Trust have failed to explore all the alternatives and implement initiatives to avoid compulsory redundancies,” she said.

“These alternatives would have been more acceptable and more importantly they would have been cheaper. The Trust has been quick to announce the compulsory redundancies but haven’t taken the time to explain them.”

Rianne said the branch was “extremely concerned” about the potential use of Bradford Factor criteria – using sickness absence rates to determine which posts should go.

“It is particularly inappropriate in the nursery situation where staff sickness absence is below the Trust’s average on target,” she said.

“Therefore we could see a situation where somebody who has had five days absence in a year made redundant when a colleague with four days’ absence is retained.”

Parents fought last year to save the threatened nursery after the Trust announced it had overspent by £189,677 in 2009 and was expected to overspend again in 2010.

Last November interim chief executive Peter Reading said the decision to close both Sunshine Nursery and Carousel Nursery at Doncaster Royal Infirmary had been made with a “heavy heart” and after “extremely careful thought”.

“We will make every effort to smooth the transition to whichever new childcare arrangements parents choose for children,” he said.

“We will not be closing the nurseries for several months and will provide all the practical support we can to help parents find suitable alternative childcare.”

UNISON are expected to meet with hospital bosses on 31st January where they will seek assurances no union member will face compulsory redundancy.

A Trust spokesman spoke only to say: “We have a meeting with UNISON on Monday morning to discuss its concerns and will be in a better position to comment after that meeting.”