Some 300 UNISON members are preparing to escalate industrial action at Bradford teaching hospitals if the trust doesn’t halt plans to transfer them to a wholly owned private company it is setting up.
The staff who work in estates, facilities and clinical departments are due to end a two-week strike tomorrow, having already taken one week’s action in July. If there is no resolution to the dispute, they plan to start indefinite strike action on 26 August.
The staff want to remain as direct NHS employees and fear that the trust’s plans to move their work to a wholly owned subsidiary company could see workers losing the protections they have as NHS employees.
The trust argues that the new company – to be called Bradford Healthcare Facilities Management Limited –“will always be 100% owned by the NHS” and never sold on. It also says that workers transferred to it will keep NHS pay, including future pay rises, terms and conditions, such as access to the NHS Pension Scheme.
However, it also says that it will only offer terms and conditions for future staff that are “comparable” to NHS terms.
The 300 striking members include porters, cleaners and security staff at Bradford teaching hospitals. UNISON is asking branches to donate to their hardship fund.
Please donate via bank transfer to Unity Trust, sort code 608301, a/c no 49021215, or cheque made out to Bradford Health Services Branch and posted to UNISON office, Field House, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Duckworth Lane, Bradford BD9 6RJ.