Plans for around 1,000 support staff at Frimley Health Foundation Trust’s three hospitals – Frimley Park, Heatherwood and Wexham Park – to be transferred out of the NHS into a new wholly owned subsidiary (WOS) have been halted by the threat of a planned coordinated 48-hour strike by all three major unions.
At the last minute an agreement was secured over the weekend by UNISON, which represents the majority of porters, security guards, cleaners and catering staff employed by the Trust. The Trust gave a commitment not to continue with its existing plans while other options are pursued, including possible ways to keep the staff employed within the NHS. In view of this UNISON agreed to take no further action for the time being.
The other two unions, Unite, with 90 of its members at the Trust working in estates’ management, equipment maintenance, catering, portering, procurement and security having voted 92% for strike action, and the GMB which had “drawn a line in the sand” against the WOS, went ahead with their action and public protests on November 18-19.
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