Trade unions will this Wednesday hold a rally to stop the Gloucestershire subco plan to transfer 750 NHS staff into a separate company.
Health campaigners will assemble outside a meeting of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS trust governors who are set to discuss the proposals at their meeting that evening.
The demonstration follows the trade unions delivering a petition signed by over 900 Gloucestershire NHS workers to the trust board and governors.
The trust, which runs Gloucester Royal and Cheltenham General hospitals, is now considering the results of a consultation with staff on the subco. The Board will make a final decision on 8 March.
The Trust claim the subco will enable them to cut their VAT payments through a loophole known as the “contracting out directive”.
If the subco plan goes ahead 750 NHS staff doing jobs like portering, cleaning, catering and equipment sterilisation will be outsourced to a new company.
UNISON, Unite and the Royal College of Nursing have raised concerns that once these staff are outside of the NHS they will be vulnerable to cuts to their wages, sick pay and holiday allowances.
UNISON South West organiser in Gloucestershire Michael Sweetman said:
“900 NHS workers don’t sign a petition over nothing. These are health professionals who understand the problems splitting up local NHS services will create. We are rallying to ask Trust bosses to listen to their staff and spend their time working on better health services not accountancy tricks.
“When patients go into hospital they want to know the help they need will be provided by one team working together. The subco plan will split up staff who are all an essential part of getting people looked after. There is no good reason porters and domestic assistants should be outside the NHS
“Brochures from consultancies dangle the prospect of tax savings from subcos. Reality will hit all too fast when these fail to appear. It will be NHS staff wage, sick pay and holiday on the line. Once the subco takes staff outside NHS employment, they will be more vulnerable.”
About the rally to stop the Gloucestershire subco plan
- Join unions, health campaigners and staff outside a meeting of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust governors on 21 February 2018
- The rally is at the Sandford Education Centre, 32 Keynsham Road, Cheltenham GL53 7PX
- Assemble from 16:30 with banners, placards and more!
- Speeches from local health campaigners
- Get the full details here