A "cartel" of NHS trusts in south-west England has terrified local staff with talk of regional pay cuts, the health workers' union Unison has warned.
The union made a fervent plea to MPs yesterday following renewed tubthumping over Chancellor George Osborne's scheme to scrap national pay bargains.
A consortium of 20 trusts across the south-west has claimed it could save more than 6,000 jobs from Con-Dem cuts, with basic pay, sick pay and annual leave, longer hours and performance-related pay progression all on the cards.
But the union said yesterday its survey of more than 1,000 health workers under those trusts found 97 per cent were worried for their future, with many pushed "to breaking point."
One, a mother of two, said she was already stocking winter firewood as she struggled to pay her electricity bills.
"Reduce my earnings and I will struggle immensely," she said.