RD&E trust and UNISON reach interim deal on porters shift working

exeter porters strike called off

Strike action planned at the RD&E this weekend has been averted.

UNISON and the Trust secured an interim deal on shift working that saw the Exeter porters strike called off.

Both parties have held constructive talks this week, brokered by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), following a dispute over proposals to introduce 12 hour shifts for porters.

The key points of agreement are:

  • UNISON will suspend plans for the weekend industrial action due to begin this Friday
  • The Trust has agreed an interim eight-hour shift rota for the general portering department and a new formal team structure with improved supervisory support
  • The Trust will shortly begin a full review of the hospital’s support worker function (which includes general portering) to ensure that the Trust continues to provide the safe movement of patients and equipment across the Wonford site.
Pete Adey, Chief Operating Officer at the RD&E, said:

“I would like to thank UNISON for taking part constructively in the negotiations over the last few days. Any dispute like this is regrettable so I am pleased that the planned strikes will now be suspended. Both parties are very clear that what matters most is our patients and I welcome the fact that we will now work together to undertake a boarder review of the support worker function at the Trust.

UNISON South West regional organiser Oliver Foster Burnell said:

“The porters have shown that by sticking together and presenting a clear case, problems at work can be solved.

“We are grateful to the Trust for taking the opportunity of the ACAS talks to listen. Seeing the porters strike called off is a relief all round; now we can start improving the effectiveness of portering services at the RD&E.

This statement was agreed jointly between UNISON and the RD&E Trust