GMB to undertake consultative ballot at Frimley Health Foundation NHS Trust

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GMB to undertake consultative ballot of members at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust in attempt to halt trust plans to privatise non-clinical services. Our members joined the NHS to carry out a public service role, not to assist some profit making organisation says GMB Southern

  • GMB are to undertake a Consultative Ballot of members at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust (FHFT) with the aim of halting trust plans to privatise non clinical services at Frimley Park, Heatherwood and Wexham Park hospitals. 

    GMB have announced today (8 August) that they will be writing to Chief Exec Neil Dardis and Privatisation Lead Director of Human Resources and Corporate Services Janet King, who is purported to be the first Chief Exec of the WOS to inform them that GMB are to carry out a consultative ballot to gauge the views of non-clinical staff over the possibility of taking Industrial action to protect their future within the NHS.

    GMB’s campaign to halt the creation by FHFT of a stand-alone wholly owned subsidiary as a means to the privatisation, of around 1000 housekeeping and cleaning services, porters, security, and catering amongst others, across the Trust’s three hospital sites has seen growing opposition to the only for profit proposal as concerned staff have contacted the union and their on-site workplace reps on a daily basis seeking advice and support over the stressful uncertainty over their future.

    The consultative ballot which will open on August 14th will afford GMB members at Frimley, Wexham and Heatherwood hospitals the opportunity to have their say on the potential of taking direct action in defence of their jobs and to remain solely within the NHS.
    The indicative ballot is the first stage that GMB members are expected to take in that process, in addition to the current regulations surrounding ballots for those working within the NHS seeking to defend and maintain the status quo, in order to lawfully seek to defend their jobs through industrial action at a later date.

    The ballot will close on 29th August to correspond with the third of the GMB lunch time demonstration planned over August period, the first being on Wednesday 21st at Wexham Park Hospital, and the second being outside Frimley Park on Thursday 22nd with Heatherwood seeing the 3rd demo as well as the ballot result announcement. The demonstrations will run from 12:30 to 2:30.

    Gary Palmer GMB Regional Organiser says:  

    "Despite attempts to stifle the GMB Union at every turn our members have remained resolute in that they are totally opposed to being transferred out of the NHS simply as both a tax avoidance and simple profit making service.

    "They joined the NHS to carry out a public service role, carrying out these duties at the Hospital and not to assist some profit making organisation, who opt to putting money before patients or staff and cash before care, even if those who own the new business are connected to the NHS, benefiting from all that being part of a National public service brings them, whilst they play down the fears of staff as it dawns on them that they will be leaving the NHS and ignoring everyone shouting that’s it’s just unfair and unwarranted. 

    "So if the Trust are going to continue to ignore our members concerns and filibuster to avoid engaging with and block their representatives from making representation and giving information to staff and the public, then we are left with no choice but to initiate a process leading to direct action to make the Neil and Janet listen, should our members vote to do so.

    "Staff have been left feeling that everything about this behind the scenes stinks of possible duplicity. The lack of engagement and openness over what is a really unnecessary detrimental act towards non clinical services does nothing to dismiss the real concerns of those delivering day in day out such a great service at this time. Our members are not happy to say the least, it’s just a pity that Neil Dardis and Janet king aren’t as dedicated to the very staff whose dedication to FHFT in the first place is without question. 

    "But I guess the lofted position and huge salaries they and other decision makers collect makes it difficult to empathise with those that their decisions affect the most.

    "GMB Union are not going away and the battle to save non clinical service has just begun. We will use every tool at our disposal to protect members’ jobs from privatisation."


    Contact: Gary Palmer 07552 165950 or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114762