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Brussels Meeting On ISS Woolwich Dispute

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Brussels Meeting On 29th October To Update EU Trade Unions On ISS Dispute At Woolwich Hospital Over Two Tier Workforce

We will go ahead with further strikes if promised meeting is a stalling tactic as only more money on the table will solve this dispute EU colleagues will be told by GMB.

Nadine Houghton, GMB Regional Officer representing over 200 members employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, will attend a meeting in Brussels on 29th October to update trade union colleagues across Europe on the dispute over a two tier workforce in the NHS. See notes to editors for copy of recent GMB press release on the dispute.

There was a 24 hours strike on 8th October. The dispute committee met to fix further dates for strike action, GMB has delayed serving notice for new strike dates pending the outcome of promised tripartite talks between the union, NHS Trust and ISS. No date is yet fixed for this meeting.

Over 200 GMB members are employed by ISS at the hospital as cleaners, security, ward hostesses, caterers, on the switchboard and as porters.

Members want the same pay rates and weekend enhancements and unsocial hours rates as the staff directly employed by the Trust.

ISS workers are paid between £7.10 and £7.32 per hour. The lowest rate for directly employed staff is £7.33 ph which moves in yearly increments to £7.51 and £7.69 under the current NHS pay progression system.

ISS staff who work unsocial hours get between 90p - £2:05per hour. As direct staff they would be entitled to time and a half, ISS staff work on Saturday get time and a quarter. As direct staff this would be time and a half. When they work Sunday or a bank holiday they get time and a half. As direct staff this would be double time. ISS also pay less than sick pay for weekend. There are also a number of health and safety issues to resolve.

Nadine Houghton will attend Sectoral Social Dialogue for the Cleaning Industry from 10am on 29 October 2014 at Borschette Center, Rue Froissart, 36, 1040 Brussels, Belgium.

Kathleen Walker Shaw GMB European Officer said “GMB will want to speak in trade union side pre meeting to advise colleagues on the dispute at ISS at Woolwich Hospital over a two tier workforce in the NHS and to raise the issue at the full plenary session in the session on public procurement.”

Nadine Houghton, GMB Regional Officer, said “ This meeting will give me an opportunity to speak to representatives on the European Works Council for ISS across the EU and seek support for members at Queen Elizabeth Woolwich in their campaign to end the two tier workforce.

I will tell colleagues of member’s determination to secure justice. I will seek support for further dates for strike action. We have postponed giving notice for the next strike days for talks to take place. We will not hesitate to go ahead if the promised meeting does not happen quickly or if it emerges that the offer of talks is a stalling and delaying tactic. Only more money on the table will solve this dispute.”

Contact: Nadine Houghton 07714 239 227 or Justin Bowden 07710 631351 or GMB press office 07974 251823 or 07921 289880

Notes to editors.

GMB press release 20th October 2014.

GMB REPS AT ISS AT QUEEN ELISABETH HOSPITAL WOOLWICH MEET TO FIX FURTHER DATES FOR STRIKES IN DISPUTE OVER TWO TIER WORKFORCE IN NHS

Members want an end to the two- tier workforce within the hospital with the same pay rates and weekend enhancements and unsocial hours rates as directly employed staff says GMB

GMB representatives of members employed by contractor ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich will meet to fix further dates for strike action in a dispute over a two tier workforce in the NHS.  This follows a 24 hours strike on 8th October.

Over 200 GMB members are employed by ISS at the hospital as cleaners, security, ward hostesses, caterers, on the switchboard and as porters.

Members want the same pay rates and weekend enhancements and unsocial hours rates as the staff directly employed by the Trust.

ISS workers are paid between £7.10 and £7.32 per hour. The lowest rate for directly employed staff is £7.33 ph which moves in yearly increments to £7.51 and £7.69 under the current NHS pay progression system.

ISS staff who work unsocial hours get between 90p - £2:05per hour. As direct staff they would be entitled to time and a half, ISS staff work on Saturday get time and a quarter. As direct staff this would be time and a half. When they work Sunday or a bank holiday they get time and a half. As direct staff this would be double time. ISS also pay less than sick pay for weekend.

There are a number of health and safety issues to resolve.

A protest outside the offices of HCP Social Infrastructure (UK) Ltd at 6 Middle Street, London EC1A 7PH where Meridian the PFI Operator is located is also being considered.

Nadine Houghton, GMB Regional Officer, said "GMB representatives will meet to discuss future strike dates. ISS have ignored our request for a meeting.

GMB members do not take strike action lightly, especially not in a hospital but members have been left with no choice given the refusal of the employer to meet.

Teresa Pearce MP is continuing to put pressure on Meridian Hospitals PLC to enter into negotiations alongside ISS to help settle the dispute.

GMB members want an end to the two- tier workforce within the hospital. They want the same pay rates and weekend enhancements and unsocial hours rates as the staff directly employed by the Trust.

GMB does not accept that outsourcing mean that public sector employers can simply outsource the responsibility for the staff and duck their responsibilities by arguing that they are employed by someone else. For too long these staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital have felt undervalued, bullied and exploited. This will not be accepted.

Meridian Hospitals PLC paid a dividend of £2, 772, 000 last year. This money is going straight from the public purse into private pockets. A fraction of this money could be used to pay our members what they deserve."

End

 

 

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