NHS Lanarkshire Wage Grab Contractor Told: “Pay What You Owe To Avoid Strike Action”
GMB members in University Hospital Hairmyres facilities contractor ISS have today (Thursday 27 June) voted overwhelmingly for strike action in their fight to reclaim wages withheld by their employer following the imposition of a new pay system.
Around three hundred staff received just two weeks pay for three weeks work last month after ISS bulldozed through its new “Project Greenfield’ payroll model, resulting in fortnightly paid staff waiting an additional week for the receipt of their wages.
Following the close of a statutory ballot this afternoon, 91.8 per cent of GMB members supported moving to a strike to force ISS to return their wages, a figure GMB estimates to be around £75,000 in total.
Strike action will affect key services like cleaning, portering, maintenance, housekeeping and security at the East Kilbride hospital and could take place as early as the middle of July.
GMB Scotland Organiser Karen Leonard said: “It is utterly shameful that dedicated staff working at the coal face of our NHS are being treated with such contempt - there is no excuse for withholding wages from your employees.
“We warned ISS repeatedly that imposing the new payroll system could cause hardship and uncertainty for our members and their families, which is exactly what happened, while the response from ISS in the form of short term loans and emotional support was appalling.
“There’s no question that a strike will severely disrupt services at Hairmyres but this isn’t a decision we have taken lightly. No credible trade union could allow the precedence of PFI contractors in our NHS withholding wages from workers go unchallenged.
“The solution is obvious: ISS need to pay what they owe. They are badly in the wrong and both NHS Lanarkshire and the Scottish Government should be urgently intervening, not only to ensure our NHS staff get the respect they deserve but also to avoid disruption to patients.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Senior Organiser Drew Duffy on 07912 560806 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.