WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
Unite: Birmingham NHS maintenance & facilities staff to strike in ‘transfer to tax avoiding company’ row
About 40 NHS maintenance and facilities staff at Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, who face being transferred to a wholly owned subsidiary (WOS) designed to avoid paying tax, will strike for three days later this month.
Unite, the union, said porters, housekeepers, domestic assistants and maintenance staff, who are being transferred to Summerhill Services Ltd from 1 July, will strike on 24-26 June.
Unite regional officer Frank Keogh yesterday said:
“This unpalatable transfer will strip our members of their status as NHS employees and is a part of the accelerating backdoor privatisation of the health service. Ultimately, it will lead to salami slicing of patient services.”
Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, has waged an extensive campaign against these wholly owned subsidiaries as they could lead to job losses and the erosion of service provision.
Unite is concerned that trusts are forming these wholly owned subsidiary companies in England so that they can register for VAT exemption and compete on a level playing field with commercial competitors who register for VAT exemption for their work in the NHS, when NHS trusts can’t.
Frank Keogh added:
“Unite is disappointed that trust bosses want to push ahead with their plans, despite the overwhelming opposition of the workforce.
“We believe NHS should mean the NHS and its values – and not the outsourcing of hardworking and dedicated staff to a wholly owned subsidiary after they have given years’ service to the NHS. If they had wanted to work for a private company they would have chosen to.
“We are strongly against the formation of these entities which, we believe, could lead to a Pandora’s Box of Carillion-type meltdowns – with the adverse knock-on effects on patient services and jobs.
“At a meeting with chief executive Roisin Fallon-Williams on 10 June, Unite made it clear that, if the trust wants to resolve this issue, it must withdraw its proposal to transfer staff, and allow our members to maintain their status as NHS staff.”
The workers voted by 92 per cent to strike from 07:30 on 24 June until 23:59 on 26 June on a 70 per cent turn out. Unite is coordinating its industrial action with Unison.
The Department of Health and Social Care announced last year that it was consulting on the WOS issue. The consultation ended in November and the requirements that trusts and foundations have to meet to create wholly owned subsidiaries were tightened up.
This also included a condition to consult stakeholders, such as staff and the wider community. However, it is still not known what the criteria are for such consultations.
A number of trusts have already decided to abandon plans to set up such a subsidiary, although earlier this week Unite warned that about 1,000 NHS staff at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust could face being transferred to a wholly owned subsidiary also designed to avoid paying tax.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065
Latest News from
WiredGov Newswire (news from other organisations)
Wales Audit Office - Integrated Care Fund not yet realising its full potential18/07/2019 14:40:00
Better evidence needed about how the fund improves outcomes for service users, says Auditor General
NHS Confederation - Paying for Social Care in Wales18/07/2019 13:40:00
Nesta Lloyd-Jones, Interim Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation responded to the update provided by the Welsh Government’s Minister for Health and Social Care on the Inter-Ministerial Group’s work on Paying for Social Care
LGA opens bids for Housing Advisers Programme to tackle housing crisis18/07/2019 12:40:00
The Local Government Association is launching its third year of the Housing Advisers Programme, an innovative scheme to help councils overcome housing challenges in their local areas, with bids invited from today.
Unicef - Unwanted, exploited and abused: tens of thousands of children in Al-Hol camp and several parts of Syria in limbo amid dire humanitarian needs18/07/2019 11:40:00
Unicef calls for improved humanitarian access and protection of children including re-integration into local communities and safe return to home countries
CIPD - Jobs boom loses momentum as pay growth gains speed18/07/2019 10:40:00
The CIPD responds to the official labour market statistics for the period March – June 2019 published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)
LGA responds to DFE consultation on transparency in local authority-run schools18/07/2019 09:40:00
Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, responded to the launch of a consultation to improve transparency around local authority-run schools and to apply academy accountability
UK Space Agency: Embracing the new Space Age17/07/2019 16:10:00
Science Minister Chris Skidmore yesterday made a speech about the strength of the UK space industry, 50 years on from the launch of the Apollo 11 mission.
TUC: Devolution can offer an opportunity as industrial change takes effect17/07/2019 15:37:00
New report considers lessons for UK from industrial transformation in Bilbao, Eindhoven and Iceland. Communities must be in control of change resulting from automation and decarbonising the economy, says TUC.
TUC: Industrial change can benefit communities when workers’ voices are involved17/07/2019 14:37:00
A report published recently (Monday) by the TUC, based on research conducted by the New Economics Foundation, looks at successful models for industrial transformation at local level.