GMB announces 5 days of strike action across 4 Berkshire Hospitals
GMB facilities management members are due to walk out on strike in a row over changes of NHS job descriptions and bandings.
GMB, the union for all NHS workers, have issued notices to NHS Property Services for 5 days of strike action week commencing 29th November across 4 Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust Hospital sites where F/M services after privatisation are now provided by NHSPS to the Trust.
The support services, including amongst others Housekeeping, Cleaning, Catering and Car parking are taking action because NHSPS are looking to change job titles, job specifications and bandings in a planned reorganisation of the entire workforce and service delivery model as the first step to moving away from their current NHS ones, therefore weakening and potentially breaking the current direct link to facilities staff's existing NHS pay rates.
Asia Allison GMB Senior Organiser said:
‘It’s worth remembering that’s these staff didn’t want to leave the Berkshire Healthcare NHS family for the private sector in the first place, and they feel abandoned by the Trust, despite having provided a high standard service for many years for them’.
‘Now they find themselves facing having their NHS transferring terms and conditions changed by NHSPS through an organisational change program which circumvents their TUPE protection and can sever the link to their current NHS pay bandings, as it appears was always the plan with Property Services all the way along’.
‘‘Strike action is the last resort but stopping this change now will mean the threat to members' pay rates and their other terms and conditions for the future will remain secured’
Gary Palmer GMB Regional Organiser said:
Despite saying otherwise Property Services are an outright Limited private company, seeking to take money out of the NHS under the guise of efficiency savings. What the GMB won’t allow is for that to be at a direct detriment or cost to our members, pay and terms and conditions.
We are happy to meet with NHSPS and discuss exclusion from the organisational change program for our members across the King Edward VII, Wokingham, Upton and St Marks Hospitals. As doing so won’t alter the current high standard service delivery which our members have provided for many years and patients and visitors have come to expect but will in fact protect our members' futures.
Demotivating staff from the outset, who didn’t really want to transfer over to you in the first place is just a purposeful act by Property Services, as staff who leave will be replaced by new starters on lesser pay rates, fewer holidays and detrimental sickness and pension schemes.
Well, the GMB Union say not this time and not at these hospitals and these staff. GMB remain happy to discuss, but if NHSPS remain on the track they are then this dispute will see the first round of action take place in two weeks. With more to follow