Battle against low pay escalates across four London ho...

Battle against low pay escalates across four London hospitals

10 July 2017

Following a solid three day strike last week at Barts Health NHS Trust, hundreds of low paid cleaners, porters and security guards will strike for seven days starting tomorrow (Tuesday 11 July) to break the one per cent pay cap.

The three day strike which began on 4 July has already caused considerable disruption to domestic services across four London hospitals and the union has squarely laid the blame on Serco for refusing to enter into meaningful talks.

Workers will begin a seven day stoppage from this Tuesday 11 July  at 6am to Tuesday 18 July at 6am and are warning that they will stage a 14 day stoppage starting on 25 July with further strike action planned for August and September.

Unite national officer Colenzo Jarret-Thorpe said: “Low paid workers who keep our hospitals clean, safe and running smoothly are not prepared to get poorer while the multimillion pound privateer Serco rakes in millions.

“Unite members working for Serco at Barts  are refusing to accept one per cent  after seeing their real living standards drop year on year. Last week’s industrial action was solidly supported and they are determined to get a decent pay increase of an extra 30p per hour.

“Workers regularly report getting home late, tired and sore from the intense workload heaped on them by Serco -  they deserve better treatment and better pay. We urge Serco to get around the negotiating table and resolve this dispute."

Serco won the £600 million soft services contract for Barts Health NHS Trust last year. The company made a profit of £82 million, and pays its chief executive over £1 million a year. Unite members employed by Serco as domestic staff, porters and security workers at Barts Health NHS Trust want a 30p per hour wage increase but the claim has been rejected by Serco. 

Workers also called for a strike ballot because porters at Whipps Cross Hospital are up in arms over Serco’s plans to cut jobs, and to make matters worse Serco has also increased workloads to unsustainable levels for cleaners across the trust.


Notes to editors:

Unite members were balloted across Whipps Cross University Hospital, Royal London Hospital, St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Mile End Hospital (Newham Hospital is not involved in the strike). Serco posted profits of more than £82 million for 2016 and its contract to provide services to Barts Health NHS Trust is worth £600 million.

For more information please contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.