GMB members gear up for dispute with Mitie at St. George's Hospital
“Once again the dark underbelly of the privatisation of our NHS is laid bare”, says GMB Southern
GMB members are gearing up for a dispute with Mitie after the NHS contractor launched a consultation to make swinging cutbacks to hostess and domestic services at St George’s Hospital.
GMB members are furious because their hard work has secured the contract for Mitie for a further 10 years at the hospital. The workforce expressed their disgust at the way they are being treated when they attended a series of tense consultation meetings. At one of these meetings management blocked the exit to try to force workers to fill in ‘preferences for job roles in the revised structure’. The workers refused to co-operate and exited the room.
At these sham ‘consultation meetings’ management talk at length about the types of meals that will be served whilst failing to give workers vital detail about hours cuts, break cuts and roster changes. At least 40 redundancies are being proposed and Mitie are saying that voluntary redundancies will not be agreed if they prove to be too expensive. Unfortunately for Mitie, GMB members are not falling for the slick HR presentations claiming that the changes ‘bring opportunities’ for Mitie workers.
Job roles are being changed as Mitie plan to have hospital cleaners serve food to patients, which means that patient welfare will be directly impacted by the Mitie cutbacks. Members are angry that proposed cuts in hours will reduce their pensions and most struggle with the impossible workloads as things stand.
Helen O’Connor, GMB Regional Officer said: "Once again the dark underbelly of the privatisation of our NHS is laid bare. Mitie want to cut corners in St George’s at the expense of the wellbeing of the hospital workforce and the patients.
"It is astounding that Mitie expect the trade unions and the workforce to support these cuts. Their consultation meetings have been little more than an effort to dupe the workforce into believing these cuts are a good thing.
"GMB has told Mitie that our members are unequivocally opposed to these dangerous cutbacks that put the welfare of the workforce, the patients and the public at risk. We have expressed our grave concerns about the health and safety implications of having hospital cleaners handling food as well.
"Our members are up for a fight on this and Mitie can rest assured that GMB will take all steps necessary to defend the pay, terms and conditions of our members and services in St George’s Hospital itself.
"We are starting off an escalating programme of action with a protest from 7am on Friday 14th June, on Blackshaw Road."
Contact: Helen O’Connor 07506 7115745 or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114762