GMB Accuses NHS Lanarkshire Of “Washing Its Hands” Of PFI Staff Following Wages Dispute
GMB Scotland has today (Tuesday 17 September) warned NHS Lanarkshire that it must do more to more to ensure hospital staff employed by PFI contractors are not treated like “the underclass” of the health board.
In a letter to NHS Lanarkshire Chief Executive Calum Campbell, GMB has accused the health board of “washing its hands” of Hairmyres staff employed by ISS UK and their recent campaign to reclaim wages lost as a result of new payroll system changeover in May.
Three hundred workers including porters, cleaners, maintenance, housekeeping and security staff went to the brink of strike action earlier this month before last ditch talks with the PFI contractor secured a repayment plan for the wages owed.
GMB members campaigned extensively throughout the summer months but repeated requests for interventions from the health board hierarchy to help resolve the dispute fell on deaf ears, while the health board engaged directly with ISS UK in the week before the planned strike.
GMB Scotland Organiser Karen Leonard said: “The hierarchy of NHS Lanarkshire needs to review and renew its commitment to the Scottish Government’s fair work agenda and to the principles of the NHS Scotland staff governance policies.
“There is no getting away from the fact this health board washed its hands of the staff employed by ISS UK and of the financial detriment placed on them as a result of the payroll system changeover - nearly three hundred NHS staff were left to fend for themselves.
“As our members campaigned for the return of their wages, repeated pleas for NHS Lanarkshire to intervene were effectively ignored, fuelling a sense of anger and injustice which was made worse when the health board worked directly with ISS in the build-up to the strike.
“It should be a source of shame for NHS Lanarkshire that staff under their umbrella were not paid properly for their service and their failure to take decisive action to defend staff left dedicated public servants feeling like the underclass of the health board.
“Thankfully by campaigning together and standing strong, our members secured the return of their wages but this simply cannot be allowed to happen again in NHS Lanarkshire or anywhere else in NHS Scotland.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Karen Leonard on 07718 112031 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.
Notes to Editors
Read the full GMB letter to NHS Lanarkshire Chief Executive Calum Campbell here:
Please read full letter here