18 November 2014
Further Two 24 Hour Strikes On Nov 24th And 25th At ISS At Queen Elizabeth Hospital Woolwich Over Two Tier Workforce In NHS
Failure to make offer at tripartite meeting is a clear message that those with the cash to resolve this aren’t as interested in settling the dispute as they should be says GMB.
GMB members employed by ISS at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich will hold 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.
Nadine Houghton, GMB Regional Officer, said “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.”