Hospitals face strike over PFI

Hundreds of non-clinical staff at the Dudley Group of Hospitals have again taken strike action over the trust’s planned transfer to the Private Finance Initiative.

The 600 non-clinical workers – 96 per cent of the Trust’s support staff – began their 12-day strike at one minute past midnight last Monday.

Protestors turned down a deal offered by the hospital’s personnel department under HR director Helen Munro, which would guarantee their terms and conditions for 40 years.

Munro reassured the protestors that their pensions would be protected under Tupe regulations (Personnel Today, 26 September).

Unison regional Officer Fiona Westwood said the strikers had refused the offer from the HR department because of disagreements over pension transfers and voluntary redundancy arrangements. "The trust and the Government can see how strongly the staff feel – it is time they agreed to allow the contract to be renegotiated.

"Many of the protestors feel the hospital trust is not taking them seriously and feel insulted by the proposals."

The PFI scheme would mean the hospital would be leased back from a private sector consortium, which would fund construction of new hospital buildings.

The trust includes Russells Hall and Wordsley hospitals, and two others which occupy old buildings in need of renewal.

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