GMB Tells ISS: “Pay What You Owe!” Hairmyres Hospital Staff Launch Strike Ballot Over Unpaid Wages
Staff at University Hospital Hairmyres will launch a strike ballot tomorrow (Thursday 13 June) as they fight to reclaim lost wages following the imposition of a new payroll system, which resulted in staff receiving just two weeks pay for three weeks work.
NHS Lanarkshire facilities management contractor ISS rolled out ‘Project Greenfield’ across its UK operations last month. However the implementation date of its new payroll system resulted in fortnightly paid staff waiting an additional week for the receipt of their wages.
The global services giant, which enjoys revenues of over £8.75 billion, has held the facilities contract at Hairmyres since 2001 as part of the hospital’s PFI arrangement. GMB estimates it would cost ISS just £72,000 to repay the 300 staff affected.
Strike action would affect services like catering, cleaning, maintenance and porterage at the East Kilbride hospital. The ballot will close at Noon on Thursday 27 June.
GMB Scotland Organiser Karen Leonard said: “This should not be happening in our NHS. The employer’s imposition forced families to re-shuffle their already hard pressed finances while others have been forced into debt.
“It would cost ISS a five figure sum to return the monies owed to all the staff affected - a negligible amount for a company that generates billions - but the employer ignored our union’s warnings about the impact and then tried to paper over the cracks by offering staff short term loans.
“We have asked the Chief Executive of NHS Lanarkshire and the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Health to intervene but without success, so our members have been left with no choice but to pursue strike action in order to get their wages.
“Let’s be clear that ISS are withholding this money, making a mockery of the fair work agenda in Scottish public services, and there is no barrier to paying back their employees. The message from staff to the employer is simple: pay what you owe.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Karen Leonard on 07718 112031 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.