PAH cleaners vote for strike action

News / Sat 20th Apr 2019 pm30 12:08pm

Harlow hospital cleaners vote on strikes against outsourcing plan

CLEANERS at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow are voting on strike action over bosses’ plans to privatise domestic services and kick them out of the NHS, UNISON says today (Thursday).

The domestics warn that patients will suffer if their jobs are transferred out of the NHS as a new private company would cut corners to make their profit.

Researchers from Oxford and London universities have shown that there are higher rates of MRSA in hospitals with outsourced cleaning services.

Outsourcing would also create a two-tier workforce, with new hires brought in on rock-bottom terms and conditions, UNISON warns, while existing staff would be unlikely to benefit from future pay rises negotiated nationally with the NHS.

The hospital is currently market testing the domestic services and is expected to formally put the contract out to tender in June.

Harlow’s Conservative MP Robert Halfon has written to hospital bosses to express concerns over the effect on hospital infection rates, urging them to scrap the outsourcing plans, and other local politicians have also backed the domestics’ fight.

But UNISON says PAH bosses have refused to abandon the dangerous plans and workers feel they have no choice left but to ballot on strikes.

UNISON regional organiser Caroline Hennessy said: “PAH bosses have plastered notices around the hospital boasting of having some of the lowest infection rates in the county but they seem happy to fritter away this achievement to save a bit of cash.

“They know full well they’ll only save that cash by squeezing it out of the staff who give their all to keep the hospital clean and safe for their patients.

“It’s staggering that they can show such scant regard for patients and staff by obstinately pressing on with their damaging plans.

“Thankfully, the domestic staff are determined to defend their service by keeping it in the NHS.

“None of them want to walk off the job but bosses don’t seem to be listening to their concerns.

“Our door remains open and we’ll be happy to work with the hospital to withdraw from market testing and protect patients.”

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6 Comments for PAH cleaners vote for strike action:

2019-04-20 13:29:29

What's the Russo Corbyn been prattling on about lately, indeed, it's become a party slogan, but in this instance, " for the many, not the few ", has dire consequences for all. Now, wait for one of the mis-guided to start his whining about, in house is better etc. Guess who ? Can't touch me,I'm part of the union comes to mind. If this lot get away with it, can you imagine what the McLuskey mafia will be plotting. Labour breeds POVERTY.

2019-04-20 15:16:28

It’s very sad that these hardworking committed members of the health team have been forced to go on strike. No one in the health provision would take this decision lightly. There is clear factual evidence that shows having one team has a positive effect on care. At a time when the trusts need local support it makes this decision to go back into the private V public debate. Is this really worth it. If this was nurses or Doctors going on strike there would be uproar. These workers are part of the whole team and should be valued not sold off. Really hope PAH resolves this soon and agree one team is better for all. Bring on the common sense.

2019-04-20 16:26:07

Hard working cleaners is a perfect example of an oxymoron. Why do you persist quoting everything as "if" ? If I won the lottery,I'd be rich, blatant, eh ? So, are we to assume that the the P A H Trust, never employs or uses agency staff then ? And, if they do WHY ? Trundling around Y H ,like you do, looking for a cause is not working. Can't sign off without the hint of P F I. Time for you,durcant, to accept some of the realities of modern times

2019-04-20 17:18:16

Micky sticks and stones my friend. I have worked alongside some of the nicest and kindness staff who work at PAH as part of the domestic team. As nurses we can’t care unless we have a whole team working together. One team makes a huge difference. As a former PAH nurse I have full respect for this team and remain sad that they have had to take industrial action. Let’s remain one team, it works. The value outways the short term cost savings. Enjoy your weekend

2019-04-21 14:42:23

Micky, unless you work at PAH how do you know how hard the cleaners work or not?

2019-04-21 16:45:53

Asinine question if ever there was one. Unfortunately for me, I have several health issues that require me to sometimes spend a few days in one or two of the wards, obviously AWR, not at the same time. My experience is first hand regarding care and nursing, of which I'm truly thankful, and appreciative.

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