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Eastbourne Hospital

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

GMB Strike Ballot At Eastbourne District General Hospital In Dispute Over Shift Patterns For Porters

GMB members feel very strongly about current shift patterns and will use all methods at their disposal to resolve issue for benefit of porters, patients and £60,000 savings per year for the Trust.

GMB is to undertake a consultative ballot of members working as porters at the Eastbourne District General Hospital (EDGH) to seek support for industrial action. This is after the Chief Executive Darren Grayson failed to enter meaningful discussion over the implementation of new shift patterns for porters  at the hospital. In fact Mr Grayson turned down suggestions from the porters for safer working shift patterns and potential £60,000 saving per year.

Gary Palmer, GMB organiser, said “Morale amongst the porters at the hospital is at its lowest. This is because current shift patterns are having a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing and have resulted in staff having a poor work - home life balance. This can then also lead to a negative impact upon the quality of patient service provided.

Our members have put in a considerable amount of work in making a business case to the Trust for changing from the current 8 hour to 12 hour shifts.

These rota changes will improve considerably the rest day patterns for our members and importantly for the Trust and for Mr Grayson a potential saving of £60,000 per year including overtime costs. It’s a win win for everyone.

 In December 2012 Mr Grayson wrote to all staff asking them to think carefully about avoidable expenditure and to manage within budget.

He introduced a range of measures including that of reducing all discretionary spending on things such as overtime. GMB members say this is exactly what is being used to prop up provision of the portering services at this time. This has left members needing to resort to raising a grievance to get the case for saving money and improving the service heard within the trust.

Mr Grayson needs to understand that GMB members feel very strongly about this matter and we intend to use all methods at our disposal to resolve this to the benefit of porters, patients and Trust alike.

Ignoring positive input from staff who are becoming more and more stressed through not being listened to regarding efficiency savings only confirms as far as the GMB are concerned that Mr Grayson, prefers to spout his rhetoric of working together, whilst in reality he simple chooses to ignore everyone else ideas on a daily basis.”


Contact: Gary Palmer GMB Organiser on 07552 165950 or Rob Macey, GMB Senior Organiser on 07710 618 908, Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser on 07977518042.  GMB Press Office 07921 289 880

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