09:42AM, Monday 18 November 2019
A planned 48-hour strike by non-clinical staff at Wexham Park and Heatherwood hospitals has been postponed.
Last-minute talks took place yesterday between the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and trade union, UNISON, over plans for the creation of a wholly owned subsidiary.
The move could see staff in roles including security, catering and housekeeping transferred to a new company, effectively losing their status as NHS workers.
But UNISON has now agreed to postpone the strike after receiving ‘assurances’ that senior managers at the trust will look at ‘alternative solutions’ to keep the staff employed within the NHS.
UNISON South East regional secretary Steve Torrance said: "Following productive discussions with the Trust, UNISON has agreed to postpone the industrial action due to take place this week.
“This is on the understanding that senior managers at Frimley have agreed to look into alternative solutions, including whether it will be possible to keep the staff employed within the NHS.
"UNISON will take no further action for the time being and as a result the Trust has agreed not to continue with its existing plans while these other options are pursued."
A spokesman for the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust said: "Following productive discussions between the trust and UNISON, we have jointly agreed to explore alternative options, including whether it is possible to keep staff employed by the NHS. Both sides believe the options have the potential to resolve the current dispute.
"UNISON has agreed not to take planned industrial action on 18-20 November and will not take further industrial action and in return the trust will not progress its existing wholly owned subsidiary plans whilst these alternative options are fully explored jointly."
Trade union group GMB has confirmed its members are carrying out industrial action as planned.
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