GMB members fighting to defeat two-tier workforce operated by ISS

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, WoolwichWorkers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich have been given the go-ahead for further strike action over the two-tier workforce operated by ISS.

More than 200 GMB members are employed by ISS at the hospital as cleaners, security, ward hostesses, caterers, on the switchboard and as porters.

They have already held five days of strike action after successfully resisting attempts by ISS to get High Court injunction to stop them.

GMB regional secretary Paul Maloney said: “The regional executive was very concerned that ISS had refused to give GMB facilities to meet and consult with members on the offer that made at a meeting on 18th December. The executive had hoped that ISS would see sense and allow normal industrial relations to prevail.

“The new offer does not end the two tier workforce. The regional executive gave the go ahead for a further five days of strike action at a time to be considered by the strike committee and regional officer in consultation with myself.

“The executive is also very concerned to learn that ISS is getting enough money from the Trust to pay staff NHS Agenda for Change terms and conditions and that it is not doing so.  The Executive resolved to examine this matter further.”

The members want the same pay rates and weekend enhancements and unsocial hours rates as the staff directly employed by the NHS Trust. GMB has learned ISS is getting enough money from the Trust to pay staff NHS Agenda for Change terms and conditions but continues to refuse to end the two tier workforce.

ISS workers are paid between £7.10 and £7.32 per hour. The lowest rate for directly employed staff is £7.33 per hour which moves in yearly increments to £7.51 and £7.69 under the current NHS pay progression system.

ISS staff who work unsocial hours get between 90p – £2:05per hour. As direct staff they would be entitled to time and a half, ISS staff work on Saturday get time and a quarter. As direct staff this would be time and a half. When they work Sunday or a bank holiday they get time and a half. As direct staff this would be double time. ISS also pay less than sick pay for weekend.

There are a number of health and safety issues to resolve too.


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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