GMB To Consult Members Over Rising Frustration Arising From Brighton University Hospitals NHS Trust Failure To Pay Them Properly
Payroll department is unable to set aside a dedicated team to work with members despite discrepancies being as much as £600 per month to resolve matters expediently says GMB.
GMB, the union for staff in the NHS, is to consult staff at Brighton University Hospitals NHS Trust transferred back into the Trust in September over failures to pay them properly. In some cases discrepancies are as much as £600 per month.
These members employed in housekeeping, cleaning, portering and the patient feeding services transferred back as a result of the private service provider Sodexo’s failures to deliver soft facilities services. They are being forced to cope yet again with constant inaccuracies in their pay and pay rates.
Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser, said “GMB members, many of whom have had to cope with changes from weekly to monthly pay in the first couple of months, are finding that not only is their pay being calculated incorrectly, but that failings in calculating holiday & sickness pay and enhancements is leaving many of them with much lower pay than expected.
In fact many are worse off since the transfer into the Trust even taking into account that they moved on to improved NHS terms and conditions when doing so.
GMB also have concerns that terms protected under the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations (TUPE) are potentially being changed without consultation or consideration of the effect doing this is having upon some of the lowest paid staff at the NHS Trust.
GMB has tried to resolve matters through dialogue with Trust management. They admit that errors and miscalculations are being made and that incorrect information is being relayed to staff in relation to hourly rates and enhancements. They have said that the payroll department is simply too busy ensuring that the rest of the Trust is supported. So this department is unable to set aside a dedicated team to work closely with this group of staff despite in some cases discrepancies being as much as £600 per month to resolve matters expediently.
At a recent meeting, which the GMB suggested the Trust should hold and then found ourselves uninvited to, managers from payroll talked to GMB members working the weekend about on-going pay issues. GMB members became extremely angry when the manager, who was unable to answer many of the questions that were asked by staff who weren’t being paid correctly, were told to simply be patient with the department and that they will eventually receive their money but that it might have to be over the course of the following months.
This is of course unacceptable at any time and whilst working for Sodexo this same group of GMB members suffered constant pay issues throughout the length of the ill-fated contract. This included the 5 week period around Christmas and New Year in 2012 when they were left regularly short of pay or in some cases with no pay at all over one of the most expensive times of the year.
The Trust during the transfer often criticised Sodexo for not being able to resolve pay matters and promised staff everything would be different under their leadership. That’s certainly not turning out to be the case and long suffering GMB members, who are on some of the lowest pay bandings in the Trust, are once again having to spend hours with the support of their GMB reps arguing to get what they are rightfully owed.
GMB members have been contacting both myself and the GMB office telling us that they have now reached a point of no more excuses, no more mistakes as being acceptable. They are tasking us to carry out a consultative ballot over the Trust failures to resolve matters satisfactorily and to set in place clearer and more efficient payroll and pay query procedures so that mistakes are resolved more efficiently and quickly.
I’ll be meeting with GMB members and affected staff over the coming weeks prior to carrying out a consultative ballot in relation to the pay errors and associated issues dispute to gauge what, if any, form of action they may be considering taking. This is in order to encourage the Trust to meet with the GMB to finally resolve the long term pay fiasco for GMB members.”
Contact: Gary Palmer GMB Organiser 07552165950, Mark Turner GMB Branch Secretary 07860787973 or Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser on 07977518042 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823