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5 Day Strike At ISS Woolwich Hospital

Monday, March 2, 2015

Further Five Days Of Continuous Strike Action From 9th March By ISS Staff At Woolwich Hospital Over Two Tier Workforce

If ISS cared about patients then they wouldn't have forced members to strike for the pay and conditions they are entitled to and which ISS is being remunerated by NHS to pay them says GMB.

200 GMB members employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich will take a further five days of strike action in the long running dispute over the two tier workforce. The continuous strike action will commence at 6am on Monday 9 March and will end at 6pm Friday 13th March.

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

GMB members have already held five days of strike action on 25th and 26th December, 24th and 25th November and on 8th October. Talks on 18th December did result in movement by the company but as yet no settlement has been reached. See notes to editors for previous GMB press release on the dispute.

GMB successfully resisted attempts by ISS to get an injunction in the High Court on 20th November to stop these members holding further days of strike action.

GMB members want the same pay rates and weekend enhancements and unsocial hours rates as the staff directly employed by the NHS Trust. GMB has learned ISS is getting enough money from the Trust to pay staff NHS Agenda for Change terms and conditions but continues to refuse to end the two tier workforce.

ISS workers are paid between £7.10 and £7.32 per hour. The lowest rate for directly employed staff is £7.33 per hour 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 too.

Nadine Houghton, GMB Regional Officer, said “GMB members employed by ISS are now more determined than ever. They are not prepared to give up until they secure what is rightfully theirs - the proper rate for the job and an end to the 2 tier workforce at the hospital.

ISS have fought us at every turn and have done everything in their power to stop our members fighting for fair pay.  ISS has done everything other than actually trying to resolve the dispute amicably. If ISS cared about patients then they wouldn't have forced our members into having to strike for the pay and conditions they are entitled to and which ISS is being remunerated by NHS to pay them.

Later this week GMB will announce details of actions that will accompany the strike action. This will include a march through Woolwich to the hospital and a lobby of Parliament where we will be linking up with other trade unions that have been involved in recent disputes with ISS to meet with MP's in the House of Commons. The members will be able to talk about their experiences of working for ISS but also raise the wider question of the impact of outsourcing in the public sector on wages and service quality.

Our member’s demands are just and fair, quite simply, why should they get less than their equivalents who are employed directly by the NHS, just by virtue of the fact they work for a private contractor that seeks to make a profit out of our NHS.”

End

Contact: Nadine Houghton, GMB Organiser on 07714 239 227 or Justin Bowden GMB National Officer on 07710 631351 or GMB press office: 07974 251823 or 07921 289880.

Notes to editors

Copy of previous GMB press releases on this dispute:

Release dated 22 January 2015.

GMB GO AHEAD FOR FURTHER WEEK OF STRIKE ACTION BY ISS STAFF AT WOOLWICH HOSPITAL IN DISPUTE OVER TWO TIER WORKFORCE

Dates for further week of strike action will be determined by strike committee and officers says GMB

GMB Southern Region Executive Committee has now given the go ahead for a further week of strike action in the long running dispute over the two tier workforce for over 200 members employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich.

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

GMB members have already held five days of strike action on 25th and 26th December, 24th and 25th November and on 8th October. Talks on 18th December did result in movement by the company but as yet no settlement has been reached. See notes to editors for previous GMB press release on the dispute.

GMB successfully resisted attempts by ISS to get an injunction in the High Court on 20th November to stop these members holding further days of strike action.

GMB members want the same pay rates and weekend enhancements and unsocial hours rates as the staff directly employed by the NHS Trust. GMB has learned ISS is getting enough money from the Trust to pay staff NHS Agenda for Change terms and conditions but continues to refuse to end the two tier workforce.

ISS workers are paid between £7.10 and £7.32 per hour. The lowest rate for directly employed staff is £7.33 per hour 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 too.

Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary, said “The regional executive was very concerned that ISS had refused to give GMB facilities to meet and consult with members on the offer that made at a meeting on 18th December. The executive had hoped that ISS would see sense and allow normal industrial relations to prevail.

The new offer does not end the two tier workforce. The regional executive gave the go ahead for a further five days of strike action at a time to be considered by the strike committee and regional officer in consultation with myself.

The executive is also very concerned to learn that ISS is getting enough money from the Trust to pay staff NHS Agenda for Change terms and conditions and that it is not doing so.  The Executive resolved to examine this matter further.”

end

Release dated 16th December

LAST DITCH TALKS ON THURS 18TH DEC TO AVERT FURTHER TWO DAY STRIKE BY ISS STAFF AT WOOLWICH HOSPITAL IN DISPUTE OVER TWO TIER WORKFORCE

Members have made it clear that if their demands aren't met then they will be taking another two days of strike action over Christmas says GMB

GMB, the union for health service workers, warned that last ditch talks on Thursday 18th December between GMB, ISS and the NHS Trust must make progress to resolve the long running dispute over the two tier workforce for over 200 members employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich to avert further strike action on 25th and 26th December.

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

GMB members have already held three days of solid strike action on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th November and on 8th October. See notes to editors for previous GMB press release on the dispute.

GMB successfully resisted attempts by ISS to get an injunction in the High Court on Thursday 20th November to stop these members at Queen Elizabeth Hospital holding further days of strike action.

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

ISS workers are paid between £7.10 and £7.32 per hour. The lowest rate for directly employed staff is £7.33 per hour 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 too.

Nadine Houghton, GMB Regional Officer, said “GMB members working for ISS at the hospital remain firm in their resolve to fight for the correct rates of pay for working in the NHS. This has been demonstrated through the 3 hugely successful days of strike action that GMB members have already staged.

We have talks with management on Thursday but our members have made it clear that if their demands aren't met then they will be taking another two days of strike action over Christmas”

End

GMB press release Wednesday 26th November 2014

Failure Of December Talks Will Trigger More Strikes At ISS Woolwich Hospital After 2 Days Of Rock Solid Strike In Dispute Over 2 Tier Workforce

GMB members are confident, strong and ready to take more industrial action should no offer be made during negotiations in December says GMB

Talks to resolve the current dispute between GMB and ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich are due to take place in December in the long running dispute over a two tier workforce.

GMB members employed by ISS held two further days of solid strike action on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th November. There was an earlier 24 hour strike on 8th Occtober. See notes to editors for previous GMB press release on the strike.

GMB successfully resisted attempts by ISS to get an injunction in the High Court last week (Thursday 20th November) to stop members employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich holding the two further days of strike.

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

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

ISS workers are paid between £7.10 and £7.32 per hour. The lowest rate for directly employed staff is £7.33 per hour 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 too.

Nadine Houghton, GMB Regional Officer, said "Support for the strikes has been incredible. The company’s refusal to engage and settle the dispute has further frustrated already angry GMB members.  GMB members are confident, strong and ready to take more industrial action should no offer be made during negotiations in December.

It emerged in the High Court that the Trust has been paying enough money since 2012 to end the two-tier workforce. Where has this money gone?  It is an absolute disgrace. In addition ISS then blew £50,000 losing to GMB in the High Court trying to stop the members exercising their legal right to strike.

The few workers who didn’t feel able to strike last time decided to join GMB and come out this time because they found out that ISS workers are paid more on other sites and that other sites are also better staffed.”

End

Friday 21st November 2014

ISS FAIL IN HIGH COURT TO GET INJUNCTION SO TWO 24 HOUR STRIKES GO AHEAD ON NOV 24TH AND 25TH AT ISS AT QUEEN ELIZABETH HOSPITAL WOOLWICH OVER TWO TIER WORKFORCE IN NHS

ISS has blown £50,000 on trying to get a High Court injunction as it emerged in court that the Trust has been paying enough money since 2012 to end the two tier workforce says GMB

GMB successfully resisted to attempts to get an injunction in the High Court today to stop members employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich holding two further days of strike on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th November in a dispute over a two tier workforce at hospital. These two days of 24 hour strikes start on 24th at 6 am and finishes 26th at 6am. These two days follow a 24 hours strike on 8th October. See notes to editors for previous GMB press releases on the dispute.

GMB members employed directly by NHS will be on strike in the national pay dispute between 7-11am on 24th November. There will be a photocall at 9am at the main entrance to the hospital.

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.

Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary, said “GMB has been successful in opposing this costly attempt by ISS in the High Court today to prevent badly paid GMB members going on strike to force ISS to end the two-tier workforce at the hospital.

Those in ISS with the ability to correct the unfairness and shortcomings in a two-tier pay structure, that has led over very many months to this dispute, were not prepared to devote the cash, resources and same urgency to addressing the real issues.

Instead, they have blown £50,000 on trying to get a High Court injunction while further antagonising an already angry and unhappy workforce. What also emerged in court is that the Trust has been paying enough money since 2012 to end the two tier workforce. This is an absolute disgrace. GMB has been vindicated in standing up to this legal bullying and robbing our members of what they are entitled to”.

Nadine Houghton, GMB Regional Officer, said "“It is disgusting that a multi-national company the size of ISS has devoted time and money to opposing the democratic right of GMB to take industrial action, some of whom have to rely on food banks because ISS don’t pay them a decent wage.

GMB members working for ISS have decided to stage another walk out over the failure of the Trust, the PFI operator Meridian and ISS to pay staff the correct pay and terms and conditions.

This time members will be walking out for 48hours in an escalation of the dispute that saw members stage their first 24hour walkout on the 8th October.

There was a tripartite meeting on 13th November when GMB met ISS and managers from the Trust and Meridian. No offer was made. They gave us assurances they were working on the figures to make us an offer but failed to give us anything concrete.

GMB first wrote to the Trust and ISS on this in April. Only now seven months later in November after a 24 hours stoppage have they actually got round the table with us. To add insult to injury the Trust failed to send senior representatives. That and the failure to make an offer is a clear message that those with the cash to resolve this aren't as interested in settling the dispute as they should be. That is why members are staging these next two days of strike action.”

End

 

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