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Hospital workers will take strike action over Serco pay injustice

Hundreds of hospital workers including porters, cleaners and catering staff, will launch strike action from Monday in a dispute over pay.

Members of Unite employed by outsourcing company Serco at London hospitals St Barts, the Royal London and Whipps Cross, will walk out for two weeks.

Unite claimed that the mainly Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority staff are paid up to 15% less than directly employed NHS workers.

Serco said it had recently increased its pay offer to a total of 3%, backdated to last April, adding it was the same as that being received by people directly employed by the NHS.

“It’s time to end this injustice”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:

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The NHS workers taking strike action have their union’s unwavering support. They face the same risks as NHS-employed staff. Why on earth are they being paid significantly worse while being treated disgracefully?

It’s time to end this injustice. It’s time to bring these workers, employed by Serco not the NHS, back into NHS employment.

Unite regional secretary Peter Kavanagh said:

Our members have worked tirelessly through the pandemic, they deserve better. Serco and Barts need to deliver a pay increase that addresses the poor pay and the inequality of treatment compared to directly employed NHS staff at other hospitals in London.

Shane DeGaris, deputy group chief executive at Barts Health NHS Trust, said:

Over the next 13 months we will be considering future arrangements of the facilities management contract, which could include bringing some services back in-house.

We are hopeful that this matter can be resolved but are working with Serco to put the appropriate measures in place and ensure hospital services are supported if strike action does go ahead.

A rally will be held outside the Royal London Hospital on Monday and later in the week at St Barts and Whipps Cross.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Under the leadership of Sharon Graham, the Unite Union has certainly stepped up to the plate. It is good to see a Union doing what it’s members pay their subs for, pushing for a living wage, parity and equal pay. Supporting industrial action, if that be the will of the membership, to achieve better terms and conditions.

      I believe it is through the unions that the working class can express their needs within their working environment. All unions carry these responsibilities but in the recent past, it seems they have been found wanting.

      Union members pay fairly high membership fees and deserve to be given a 5 star service from their respective union.

      I advocate that all working class people should join a union.

      The condemnable removal of Jeremy Corbyn by Sir Kier Starmer’s Labour Party, along with the purge of its socialist members, surely indicates that the Trades Unions should remove themselves from patronage of the Labour Party. For it is no longer a ‘broad church’, and is more a ‘light Tory Party’.

      On the political front; Trades Unions should be giving their political financing to stalwart socialist political parties that support the working class. One of the main ones being The Workers Party of Britain.

      The largest group of people in Britain is the ‘Working Class’.

      They have had enough of the main political parties and the stench of sleaze, corruption, betrayal and lies that emanate from them.

      It is time for the working class to realise the great power potential that they hold within their ranks.

      Such a dynamic example has just been demonstrated by the Canadian lorry drivers deciding to come together in solidarity, with thousands of them driving into their Capital to demonstrate.

      The working class coming together in decisive action to collectively have their say.

      I believe a new ‘steel’ is being forged in Britain amongst the Working Class.

      That with a will, and cohesive action they can and will rise to the challenge and prevail against the ruling class that binds them, to poverty wages and poor terms and conditions at work.

      Time for the Working Class to rise!

      The betterment of their lives depend upon it.

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