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STRIKE FAQs – ISS: Pay What You Owe

Who is ISS UK?

ISS UK is a facilities services company. As part of the PFI contract for Hairmyres University Hospital, they operate vital frontline services like cleaning, portering and security. Last year ISS generated global revenues of nearly £9 billion.

Why are GMB members striking?

Over 300 staff received just two weeks’ pay for three weeks work when ISS started a new payroll system. It resulted in fortnightly paid staff waiting an additional week for the receipt of their wages. ISS has, so far, refused to pay its staff the one week’s wage they owe them.

What impact will the strike have?

A strike will have a significant impact on the day-to-day running of the hospital. For example, there will be no portering, which means no transfer of patients to A&E, theatre or wards, and there will no security which means no CCTV monitoring of the buildings or grounds.

Who can stop a strike from happening?

ISS can stop a strike happening now by simply paying staff what they are owed. It will cost them just £72,000 in total to do so; pocket change to ISS but crucial to over 300 staff and their families. You can support staff by signing our pledge telling ISS: Pay what you owe!

Did ISS propose any alternatives?

Yes. ISS offered staff affected a short-term loan facility which would be repayable to the employer and ‘emotional support’ for any staff that required it. In short, telling staff they can either have a loan of their wages and / or counselling to deal with the financial shortfall.

When will the strike take place?

Without a change in the position of ISS GMB members will start a 24 hour strike at one minute past midnight on Monday 2 September, meaning the delivery of services will be affected throughout the whole of this day.

What are the Health Board and Scottish Government doing?

GMB has repeatedly asked both NHS Lanarkshire Chief Executive Calum Campbell and the Scottish Government Minister for Health Jeane Freeman MSP to intervene. Mr Campbell is unwilling to get involved and Ms Freeman has been unable to shift the position of ISS.

Can the strike be avoided?

Yes, easily. We are scheduled to meet ISS management again on Wednesday 28 August at Hairmyres. As a responsible trade union, GMB is open to talks right up until the strike date but this meeting is really the last chance for ISS to do the right thing and pay what they owe.