Tuesday, August 27, 2019
GMB urges ISS to ‘finally do the right thing’ and return hospital staff wages ahead of crunch talks
Ahead of crunch talks tomorrow (Wednesday 28 August), GMB Scotland has urged Hairmyres PFI contractor ISS UK to ‘finally do the right thing’ and pay the wages they owe to hospital staff if it wants to avoid a strike next week.
A 24 hour strike is scheduled to start at 00.01 hours on Monday 2 September affecting the delivery of portering, security, cleaning and maintenance services at the NHS Lanarkshire hospital in East Kilbride.
The dispute emerged after 300 staff received just two weeks’ pay for three weeks work in May when ISS bulldozed through its new “Project Greenfield’ payroll system, resulting in fortnightly paid staff waiting an additional week for the receipt of their wages.
Earlier this summer, over 91 per cent of staff voted for strike action through a statutory ballot over the failure of ISS to return wages owed amounting to an estimated £72,000 in total.
GMB Scotland Organiser Karen Leonard said: “Let’s be very clear about the events of the last six months and how we have got to the brink of a strike.
Before the imposition of the new payroll system we warned ISS that hundreds of staff on the frontline of the NHS would be plunged into financial detriment, which is exactly what happened. Thereafter, we have spent the summer asking ISS to return the money owed to staff but they have refused to do so.
ISS instead denied the detriment yet at the same offered staff repayable loans and emotional support to try and mitigate the impact of the detriment they claim doesn’t exist - a total contradiction of their position, treating dedicated staff with contempt.
Despite repeated calls for interventions, NHS Lanarkshire’s Chief Executive has washed his hands of the problem and the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary has been unable to bring ISS to heel. It has been left to us to try and defend the interests of the staff.
There is no excuse for failing to pay your staff on-time and to the penny. It’s shocking this is happening in our NHS and it is ridiculous that ISS is able to put staff, patients, NHS Lanarkshire and the Scottish Government over the barrel for a mere £72,000.
Ahead of these crunch talks tomorrow, everyone should be focusing their attentions on ISS because a strike on Monday could be easily avoided if they finally do the right thing and pay what they owe.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Karen Leonard on 07718 112031 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.
Notes to Editors: GMB Scotland officials and representatives will meet with ISS UK Group Employee Relations Director Paul Cronin at the Energy Centre, University Hospital Hairmyres, Eaglesham Road, East Kilbride, G75 8RG from Noon tomorrow (Wednesday 28 August 2019).