Stop NHS Privatisation Plans at Harrogate District Hospital
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Harrogate District NHS Foundation Trust are pressing ahead with plans to set up a private company called "Harrogate Healthcare Facilities Management Ltd" to "manage its estates and facilities".
This will see over 300 NHS staff members employment transferred across to a private company including porters, caterers, cleaners, maintenance staff and more. This would create a two tier workforce which would allow for attacks on staff’s contracts terms and conditions.
The GMB and other trade unions have described the move as ”privatisation” and a “tax dodge” and have also claimed the companies could be sold on, losing the staff their NHS pensions, terms and conditions in the process.
Staff are extremely angry by the proposal, with over 200 union members at Harrogate District NHS Foundation Trust voting overwhelmingly against plans. North Yorkshire Area Organiser for UNISON said: "89 percent of our members turned out to vote and from that 97 per cent voted in favour of industrial action up to and including strike action.".
Unison have expressed concerns over the impact on other government-funded services after suggesting that the Trust will make large savings by using the company to avoid paying VAT. A Labour Party Shadow health spokesman, John Grogan MP, has also described this process as a "VAT scam", saying: "This is concerning because it will cost the Government in terms of VAT, at a time when the Chancellor is trying to find money in the budget for NHS pay".
Staff chose to work for the NHS and they have voted strongly against having that right taken away from them. We are calling on Harrogate District NHS Foundation Trust to halt its plans and look to care for its employees as part of the National Health Service instead of a private company.
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