One for all, and all out for number one

Last week, public sector union Unison announced it had been behind the NHS staff who won a whopping £300m in an equal pay claim. Around 1,500 workers employed by North Cumbria Acute NHS Trust stand to receive between 35,000 and 200,000 each, according to Unison.

What a show of solidarity! What level of comradely love between workers must have been mobilised to get this result? Could it be that we are heading for a utopia of goodwill to all fellow staff leading to the overthrow of the tyrannical management monster?

Well, no. As always, Guru would like to throw a spanner in the works. A disciple from Ireland sent in this letter, which appeared in one union’s journal about some of the workers in another union.

Dear Guru,

Former nurse and INO (Irish Nurses Organisation) member, Moira Cassidy, has penned something of a controversial opinion piece in the World of Irish Nursing Journal, which referred to a number of difficulties in working with other hospital staff.

As part of a New Year’s resolution to be more honest, she says: “One thing that has bothered me for years is the majority of ancillary staff who go about their business in a permanent state of misery.”

Not content with one shot across the bows, she continues: “In many cases, the most animated I’ve seen them is when they’re skiving off in a cloud of dust on one of their eternal breaks, or when they’re clocking out for the day.”

Just in case you didn’t get her original meaning, she follows on from this with: “You so rarely experience one who’s willing to do anything above and beyond their job description (if even that, in most cases).”

And in a final cheap shot: “… like a cheap cologne, you can practically smell the bad attitude from 50 paces.”

The INO has distanced itself from these remarks – by about 50 paces, I reckon.

Workers of the world unite? Another day perhaps.

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