UNISON members have voted to take further strike action at Bradford NHS Trust from next week.

More than 300 staff who work in the Estates and Facilities department of Bradford NHS Trust have voted to strike from next Thursday, August 1.

This follows a seven day strike which ended on Sunday, July 14.

The members, including porters, cleaning staff, security and catering staff, working at Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke's Hospital will be on picket lines from 6am.


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The union's members claim the Trust's decision to set up a wholly-owned subsidiary company is "backdoor privatisation".

Tony Pearson, UNISON's Head of Health in Yorkshire and Humberside, said members want to stay employed by the NHS.

He said: "The Trust continues to put out misleading claims that staff terms and conditions can be guaranteed for 25 years.

"Yet Acting Chief Executive of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, John Holden, openly admitted in a meeting with UNISON representatives last Tuesday that the Trust could not legally guarantee these claims.

"To make matters worse he enraged a meeting of over 200 members of staff by again admitting he couldn't legally guarantee the claims about pay and conditions.

"There would be little or no protection against a future management decision to impose on our members new contracts with worse pay and conditions.

“Striking is always a last resort for our members but they have been left with no alternative but to continue with industrial action.

“They are not taking part in this for personal gain, but simply to stay as they are, employed within our NHS.

“The Trust Board must convene a full meeting to review its position over the transfer. We are also calling for the Board to open up their business case for public scrutiny."

In a statement, Mr Holden said: “We continue to engage with UNISON and its members within our Estates and Facilities department as we move forward with setting up the new NHS owned company.

“The Trust believes this is the only model which in the long-term, set against the constant need to make savings, allows us to grow the business, protect our staff and continue to support patient care.

"The Board has discussed UNISON's strike action and the risks to patient care, but the decision to develop a wholly owned subsidiary company for Estates, Facilities and Clinical Engineering has not changed.

“The Trust will be the sole owner of the company – there is no external shareholder. We will never “sell off” the company; it will always be 100 per cent owned by the NHS. 

“We have listened to concerns from staff and union colleagues. All staff will have their terms and conditions protected by legislation at the time they transfer, on October 1, 2019. In addition, we have absolutely guaranteed to protect their terms and conditions for as long as the new company has the contract with the Trust, which is 25 years.  

“Staff will also have their membership of the NHS pension scheme protected; we will protect their terms and conditions if they get promoted, or increase or reduce their hours, and we will look to match the annual NHS pay awards to our existing staff.

“We have also taken an additional step by offering terms and conditions for new starters that are comparable to the Agenda for Change terms that existing staff will transfer on.”

Bradford MPs Judith Cummins, Imran Hussain John Grogan and Naz Shah have all spoken out against the planned new company.