Frimley Health – we stopped the WOS

There’s a very positive update on our Scrap the WOS campaign this week and an extra reason for everyone to celebrate this Christmas. The WOS plans have been stopped while UNISON, Unite and GMB jointly talk about alternatives with Frimley Health trust management.

Unite and GMB suspend strikes

Talks between the unions – UNISON, Unite, GMB – and trust management took place this week with conciliation service ACAS.

The talks resulted in Unite and GMB agreeing to suspend this week’s three day strike, due to start on 18 December, in order to join fresh talks with UNISON and the employer in the New Year.

The trust had already agreed to stop and not progress its plans to pursue a wholly owned subsidiary while genuine talks around alternatives took place. This led to UNISON suspending its strike action in November.

It is great news that these talks will now involve all three unions together. They will begin early in January 2020.

All three unions have jointly said that strike action could be back on the table if talks break down.

Here is the full text of the joint agreement reached yesterday between the three unions and trust management:

“Following constructive discussions with the Trade Unions (TUs), the Trust have agreed to stop plans to set up the Trust subsidiary whilst all other options are explored with all TUs.

In return, the TUs agree not to take planned industrial action, nor will take future industrial action until all other options are explored.

The first discussions are planned to commence week commencing 6th January 2020 and will continue on at least a weekly basis.

The Trust agrees to share, on a confidential basis, further information including the full business case to enable TUs to actively engage in the process.

All parties have agreed to extend the industrial action ballot mandate until 30th June 2020 for all 3 Unions.”

Results like this show what is possible when workers organise together. This is a huge win for every UNISON member at Frimley Heath Trust, but there will be hard work to do in the New Year to make sure any alternative plan meets the aspirations of UNISON members.  

UNISON has a plan to win this dispute. It is our collective work and strength that has brought us this far and together we can win this battle once and for all.