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Hospital workers seek public backing over ‘callous’ si...

Hospital workers seek public backing over ‘callous’ sick pay policy

13 July 2017

WHAT: Leafleting and petitioning over ISS’ ‘callous’ sick pay policy
WHEN: Friday 14 July 2017, 10:00
WHERE: Main entrance, Royal Liverpool Hospital, Prescott Street, L7 8XP

Members of Unite will be joined by campaigners outside the Royal Liverpool Hospital tomorrow (Friday 14 July) collecting signatures for a petition against a ‘callous’ sick pay policy, which is leading to health workers, porters and caterers being forced to work while seriously ill or face financial hardship.

The workers employed by ISS at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen hospitals have seen their sick pay massively reduced to just 12 days a year since being transferred over to the private company from the NHS. 

Under the policy, ISS workers only receive sick pay for 12 days a year in stark contrast to other workers at the same hospitals who receive six months full pay and six months half pay. According to Unite, the policy has led to terminally ill workers losing their homes and those with long-term illnesses facing financial ruin (see notes to editors).

Unite has lodged a grievance on behalf of over 270 ISS workers at the two hospitals, but calls for bosses at the facilities management company to improve the policy have so far been met with what the union describes as ‘callous indifference’.

Commenting Unite regional officer Keith Hutson said: “ISS workers are among the lowest paid employees at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen hospitals. They’ve had enough of being treated like second class citizens and having to choose between serious financial hardship or turning up to work sick. This is 2017 in Liverpool, not 1917. 

“When our members become ill with a serious or terminal illness they may have just 12 days’ or less paid leave per year. Recently one of our members was diagnosed with cancer and had her left lung removed. No one should have to worry about work and finances at such a time, or feel pressurised into returning to work.
“It’s high time ISS behaved in an honourable way towards its workers and engaged in meaningful talks with Unite about changing this callous and unfair sick pay policy.”  

ENDS  

For further information and stories about the real affect the sick pay policy is having on workers please contact Unite regional officer Keith Hutson on 07798 531005 or Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.

Twitter: @unitetheunion
Facebook: unitetheunion1

Notes to editors

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.