GMB Protest Tomorrow ( Wed 18th September) At Great Western Hospital In Swindon In Dispute Over Job Losses And Pay Cuts For Members Employed By Carillion
The members will not accept further high handed behaviour from Carillion and the protest at the gate is just a first step in this new dispute says GMB.
There will be a lunchtime protest by GMB members employed by Carillion at the gate of Great Western Hospital in Swindon tomorrow at 12.40pm on Wednesday 18th September 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 9 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% 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.
In 2012 there were 21 days of strike action by these workers in protest against bullying and discrimination by Carillion at the hospital. GMB members demanded that Carillion management act to stop the culture of bullying on the contract and for an end to discrimination in the application of pay and conditions on the contract.
That dispute is still on-going as Carillion refused to acknowledge the continued discrimination and victimisation of employees. This has so far resulted in fifty seven cases filed against Carillion in the employment tribunal. GMB are extremely confident of a just resolution through litigation.
In a seperate case GMB lawyers in June 2013 lodged claims in the High Court in London seeking compensation for 70 GMB members blacklisted by Carillion and other construction employers. Liz Keates who is still employed in the Carillion HR department was named in the House of Commons as one of the managers who administered the blacklisting of construction workers for Carillion.
Carole Vallelly, GMB organiser, 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.”
Contact: Carole Vallelly on 07912 181476 or 01793 818 005 Kevin Brandstatter on 07813 207 374. GMB Press Office 07921 289 880 or 07974 251 823