Barts Health staff strike in dispute over 30p an hour pay rise dispute
- Credit: Archant
Cleaners, porters and security staff at The Royal London and Mile End hospitals have walked out in a dispute over a 30p an hour pay rise.
The three-day strike, which began today, will be followed by a seven-day strike beginning on Tuesday next week and another 14-day walkout from Tuesday, July 25.
Further industrial action by members of Unite, who are employed by private company Serco, is planned for August and September.
The strike is also affecting workers at two other hospitals run by Barts Health NHS Trust, Whipps Cross and St Bartholomew’s, although Newham University Hospital staff are not taking part.
Gloria Sindall, Unite regional officer, said: “Cleaners, porters and security staff have seen their real living standards drop year on year. Workers are now demanding a 30p per hour wage increase.
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“Serco made over £80 million in profit last year but managers are refusing to share these earnings fairly and protect the living standards of the workers.”
“We are disappointed by Unite’s planned action given everything we have done to improve pay and conditions for our staff at Barts Health NHS Trust in the six months since we began our contract.
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“We believe strongly in ensuring our dedicated team are rewarded fairly, which is why we agreed with the trust to pay all our team members a minimum of the London living wage from day one.”
Talks between both parties took place at ACAS last week but the dispute could not be resolved.
A ballot of union members earlier this year found that 99 per cent of those who voted supported industrial action.
A spokesman for Barts Health said: “We have been working closely with both sides to find a resolution to this dispute, urging them to seek a solution through the mediation service ACAS.
“Contingency plans are in place to minimise any disruption to staff and patients at our hospitals. All patient care at each of our hospitals will continue and we advise patients to attend their hospital appointments as normal.”