GMB members walk out of Frimley Health NHS Trust privatisation meeting

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“This sort of behaviour will not stop the GMB doing what it does best, representing and organising workers and defending NHS jobs and services”, says GMB Southern

GMB members working for Frimley Health NHS Trust have walked out of a privatisation meeting over the treatment of union officer.

The meeting at Wexham Park Hospital, which followed today’s successful demo, was called by the trust to update staff on their plans to privatise more than 1000 jobs at the trust, by moving them into a Wholly Owned Subsidiary.

On arrival at the meeting, GMB officers were asked to leave the briefing by Janet King, Deputy Chief Executive saying that the meeting was for staff only and there would be no need for union representation.

GMB sought to explain that because of possible changes of employment contracts, hours, terms and conditions and working practices, that the unions felt they had every right to represent their members, ask questions of the trust and provide counter arguments to the privatisation.

Janet King insisted the unions left, which the union sought to do, after addressing the assembled staff to inform them of the ban and inform members that the Trust were seeking to prevent questioning of the business plan.

As GMB officers attempted to leave the room whilst speaking to people arriving late to the meeting, they were jostled and physically pushed by senior trust management.

In response to this, union members walked out of the meeting in protest and went to speak to the union officers outside of the meeting.

Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Officer said: "I have to say in all my time attending consultation meetings, even when the subject matter is as distasteful to the union as this, I have never been so shabbily treated as potentially physically assaulted for trying to represent members.

"I am so sorry that members will have had to see such behaviour by those they thought were there to look after their welfare in the NHS."

Asia Allison, GMB Regional Officer said: "This sort of behaviour will not stop the GMB doing what it does best, representing and organising workers and defending NHS jobs and services. I would like to give a personal thank you to those members who immediately showed concern about our officer’s welfare immediately after the meeting.

"We will continue to fight against the formation of a Wholly Owned Subsidiary by Frimley Health Trust and the backdoor privatisation of our members’ jobs."


Contact: Asia Allison 07813 541930 or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114762