The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Transfer Deadline Extended

Unison members
30 August 2019 | Updated 10 January 2022

A strike planned for August 26 was called off after Bradford Teaching Hospitals agreed with Unison to delay plans to form Bradford Healthcare Facilities Management Ltd and transfer porters, cleaners and other support staff into the new company.

In a joint statement issued on August 22, Acting Chief Executive of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, John Holden and Unison Regional Organiser, Natalie Ratcliffe, wrote: 'Following constructive talks facilitated by ACAS, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Unison have agreed to suspend the indefinite industrial action due to commence on August 26, subject to specific legal agreement on this point.

'The Trust has agreed not to proceed with an October 1 transfer date.

'The [Trust's] Board of Directors will meet on 12 September. Unison has been offered the opportunity to present its case to allow the Board to further reflect on the position previously taken.

'The outcome of this further consideration will be notified to Unison by the end of September 2019.'


Later date

The statement continued: 'Should the Board continue with its plans to form Bradford Healthcare Facilities Management Ltd (BHFML) it has been agreed that the earliest transfer date will now be 15 February 2020'.



Around 300 Unison members - porters, cleaners and other support staff - at the Trusts' Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital has been prepared to strike on Bank Holiday Monday.

The workers would have been transferred under a TUPE arrangement to BHFML which is a company owned by the Trust. The workers were unhappy at being taken off the NHS payroll and losing the other protections they enjoy as NHS employees. They also feat the company could subsequently be sold off which in turn could  affect their terms and conditions.


Same terms

The Trust's Board has previously expressed a desire for  BHFML to develop and offer services to other hospitals. An earlier statement said: 'Bradford Healthcare Facilities Management Ltd will always be 100% owned by the NHS and never sold on. Workers transferred to the company will keep NHS pay, including future pay rises and terms & conditions, such as access to the NHS Pension Scheme'.


Similar terms

However, the same statement said any new staff joining  BHFML would be offered terms and conditions that are 'comparable' to NHS terms.


Indefinite strike

If the Trust decides to continue in the forming of  Bradford Healthcare Facilities Management Ltd in 2020, Unison has committed to calling for an indefinite strike.



The Unison, Unite and GMB unions are fighting similar plans at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust which also has plans to transfer staff to a wholly owned subsidiary.


Picture: a photograph of a healthcare worker in uniform, wearing a face mask

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 30 August 2019


Related Articles

Union To Make April Fools Out Of OCS And Engie

Having just been awarded contracts with a total value of £1.1 billion, OCS and Engie will be disappointed to learn that strike action could be called before they...

 Read Full Article
At It Again - IWGB Move for Strikes At UCL

The IWGB's campaign against London universities has moved from University of London to focus on University College London. The union is balloting hundreds of...

 Read Full Article
Imagine All The People Living Life In Peace - Dream On

ASDA, Heathrow and now Liverpool’s John Lennon airport have all been struck with strike threats as two separate unions encourage low paid manual workers to take...

 Read Full Article
Money Monster - Clooney's Club Gets Clattered

George Clooney's exclusive Mayfair Club, where he goes when in London and which is patronised by billionaires and other A-listers, is to be struck by a strike by...

 Read Full Article
A Bit Of A FCO-up As Pay Disputes Shame Whitehall

More days of strike action are to be held by PCS members working for Interserve at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Meanwhile the union is up in arms at having to...

 Read Full Article
London Hospitals May See Sodexo Staff Strike

Tuesday April 30 saw three London hospitals hit by protests over pay involving porters, cleaners and domestic staff who work for Sodexo. The protests could escalate to...

 Read Full Article
Ghoulish Excuse As Skeletons Emerge From JV Closet

Workers on the Euston HS2 site are being stopped from easily meeting their union reps because 'they are too traumatised by the discovery of skeletons at the...

 Read Full Article
Radical Idea Gets Legal Approval

The radical union, United Voices of the World, has done something radical - organising  paralegals, solicitors and barristers across the UK to join cleaners,...

 Read Full Article
Minority Union Calls Strike On Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice is expected to be forced to close for the duration of a 48 hour strike by security guards, cleaners and receptionists between 21st-23rd...

 Read Full Article
Do They Know It's Christmas? - Workers To Strike To Make Christmas A Rubbish Affair

Cheshire businesses face a Christmas rubbish headache as Veolia workers plan to strike over what they are claiming is unpaid shifts. A series of strikes are planned to...

 Read Full Article