GMB members employed by Carillion will protest at the gates of Great Western Hospital in Swindon tomorrow
4:33pm Tuesday 17th September 2013 in News
STAFF at Great Western Hospital in Swindon will be protesting tomorrow (Wednesday, September 18) at 12.40pm in dispute over job losses and pay cuts for members employed by Carillion.
There will be a lunchtime protest by GMB members employed by Carillion at the gate of Great Western Hospital in Swindon in a dispute over job losses and cuts in pay arising from changes to shift and rota arrangements without consultation.
At the protest GMB members will unfurl a nine metre banner revealing that almost unanimous rejection by GMB members working for Carillion at the hospital of proposed new shift and rota changes in a workplace ballot. The vote was 99.2 per cent to reject the new arrangements.
The changes will mainly affect housekeeping staff and ward hostesses, though all staff will lose paid breaks. Of the current cleaning workforce of 200, around 20 will be made redundant, but every member of staff will be doing 80 hours less cleaning each year.
GMB members stand to lose on average £650 per year, due to loss of unsocial hour’s payments, and some staff will lose up to 11 lieu days. The new arrangements introduce 12 hour shifts; with a one hour unpaid break in the middle. There are particular problems for staff with childcare commitments, or second jobs. The new longer shifts will also mean that staff will not be able to get to and from work by public transport on Sundays, and few of the staff own cars.
GMB organiser Carole Vallelly said “There will be fewer cleaners per ward, and those cleaners will have fewer hours to maintain the cleaning standards on those wards”.
Carillion are seeking to get the same amount of cleaning done with fewer staff, and the longer shifts will inevitably lead to a reduction of work quality.
During 2012, the Great Western Hospital NHS trust conducted an external audit of cleaning standards by Carillion, and GMB has been advised that the report concluded there was room for improvement.
GMB is particularly concerned that there has been no consultation. GMB has more than three quarters of the affected staff in membership but Carillion has not spoken to the union.
There are a number of areas where the concerns of our members could be resolved by negotiation but Carillion management at GWH continue to refuse to consult with GMB who speak for these members. Carillion is duty bound to consult with the members individually and GMB will insist that they do so.
GMB members will not accept further high handed behaviour from Carillion. The protest at the gate is just a first step in this new dispute. The original dispute remains unresolved.”
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