Industrial Action at iFM Bolton – Strike on 11th & 12th October 2018
I am writing to you to request your support regarding a dispute by our iFM members at Royal Bolton Hospital.
iFM Bolton is a Wholly Owned Subsidiary company of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, and provides estates and facilities service for Bolton Hospital and other Trust facilities. They employ mainly domestics, porters, maintenance and catering staff, some of the most poorly paid roles in the NHS.
There are 400 UNISON cleaners, catering assistants, porters and other facility management workers who are going to be taking strike action on the 11th and 12th October. Our members are striking over the refusal of iFM to pay them NHS pay; they are currently being paid £7.83 an hour, £2,000 a year less than they should be paid.
At its inception, iFM had signed a Partnership and Recognition Agreement with UNISON and other unions guaranteeing that iFM staff pay would mirror Agenda for Change terms and conditions. They are now refusing to honour this agreement, plus they will not clarify whether NHS staff transferred to iFM in 2017 will receive next year’s implementation of the NHS pay award. Management offered a derisory 2% pay rise which has been overwhelmingly rejected by our members. 96.8% of our members in iFM voted to take strike action and 93.6% voted for action short of strike action. The turnout was 65.2%. These figures show the disgust our members feel and that they are united in their resolve to take action.
I am asking all UNISON branches to support this fundamental dispute by our lowest paid members. If iFM win then the flood gates may well open for other similar companies to follow suit.
As such, UNISON members in iFM will be on an initial 48 hour strike from 7am on Thursday, 11th October until 7am Saturday, 13th October 2018. Picket lines will be in place at the Minerva Road and Plodder Lane entrances both days from 7am on Thursday the 11th and Friday the 12th.
If you are able to attend please support the Rally which will be taking place outside Bolton Town Hall, Bolton Town Centre on Friday, 12th October at 12 noon.
Our members have been active in engaging the public and politicians in the dispute, collecting petitions and getting the support of local MPs and Councillors.
We are asking all UNISON Branches to support us in this dispute. We need to stand together with our members in iFM in demanding a decent wage, and for the respect their work deserves.
Please send messages of support to our members. Donations to the hardship fund will also be welcome and very helpful to ensure the success of this dispute. Please send any correspondence and donations to:-
UNISON Bolton Health
Royal Bolton Hospital