Princess Alexandra issue statement over domestic cleaner situation

Domestic team industrial action

In light of the current activity and comments shared and published publically around a market testing exercise of our domestic services and concerns about the plans for the future, please see our statement below for background information and clarity about the situation:

‘Anyone living and working locally or visiting the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow recently may be aware that Unison, the trade union, has sent notification of their intention to initiate six days of strike action in June by members of our domestic team; the first day of this action is planned for 6 June..

This total number of days of strike action is unprecedented particularly as the action is against outsourcing, which is a decision that has not been made and that has clearly been only an option not a definite and final choice.

The market testing of our domestic services is part of a modernisation programme for all of the non-clinical and support services at PAHT to ensure that our domestic services are able to meet the demands of a busy hospital; meet national cleaning standards consistently provide good value for money for the taxpayer.

The market testing exercise is not a decision to outsource our domestic services.

Our domestic colleagues are a valued and valuable part of the PAHT team. Their roles are an essential part of ensuring our hospital is clean, safe, welcoming and ready for our patients, visitors and staff.

An external review is now taking place of the information we have received from the market testing exercise, which will be followed by an internal review. Members of our domestic team will be part of the internal evaluation ahead of a decision being made in August (2019).

Given that a decision has not been made, we are disappointed that UNISON has chosen to encourage our domestic team to take strike action and unclear why they are choosing to take this action now. We can reassure our patients that we have business continuity plans that will cover any period of industrial action.’

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3 Responses to "Princess Alexandra issue statement over domestic cleaner situation"

  1. durcant   May 30, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Whilst I share the frustration of the trust board over the painful decision to take strike action you have to ask what part of the modernisation programme is the current system failing on.
    We have a 24 hour busy hospital that appears and feels clean and tidy.
    We have less reporting of hospital acquired infections as reported in the trust papers.
    No one has mentioned not meeting national standards and if the team isn’t performing that should be addressed and resolved.
    We have a trusted and valued team.
    They will be paid the same under the national
    Agenda for change payments scheme with protected access to the pension scheme.

    In local governments were bring back services from private companies back in house as we know ownership provides accountability and responsibility.

    No one want to see staff strike and no one wants to strike.

    Hope there is still a chance to get round the table to resolve this conflict via ACAS or other means .harmony is critical to a well run and efficient service that we’re all proud of being part of.

  2. MickyB77   May 31, 2019 at 5:33 am

    Corbyn says ” for the many, not the few “, should be, “for the few, not the many”.
    Or, should that be, “money ” ?

  3. durcant   May 31, 2019 at 8:10 am

    Not sure the point your making Mick but will agree with you if this is just about money and not the quality of the service.
    I really hope we can avoid a strike happening.

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