ALL eight Birmingham Labour MPs have signed a letter to Jacqui Smith, the former Labour Home Secretary and current chair of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, expressing their concern at the Trust firing and rehiring the porters at Heartlands Hospital ‘in order to impose a new rota system on them’.
UNISON regional secretary Ravi Subramanian said: “Along with other NHS workers, the porters were clapped earlier this year, and now their bosses have slapped them.
“The porters are risking their lives every day in this pandemic, while their well-paid bosses in comfy offices have ruined their Christmas by telling them that they will fire and rehire them on a worse rota.
“UNISON will continue to back them in their strike action to protect their pay and their family lives.”
Heartlands Hospital is part of University Hospitals Birmingham Trust, alongside Queen Elizabeth, Good Hope and Solihull hospitals.
The proposals to change shift patterns were set out by the trust and consultations commenced in January 2020.
The dispute has been ongoing since March 2020 when members rejected the proposals.
Following an unsuccessful consultation, UNISON members voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action to defend their contractual shift patterns and have taken six strike days since September with a further four days this month (Decembger 14, 15, 30 and 31).
Action on January 11 and 12, 2021, is also planned.
A spokesperson for UHB said: “The Trust has started a period of collective consultation with staff representatives.”