Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has today (Tuesday 23 May) given notice to Serco that Unite members working as domestic staff, porters and security workers at St Barts NHS Trust will be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pay, job cuts and working conditions.
Workers are up in arms over Serco’s plans to cut 20 per cent of porters’ jobs at Whipps Cross Hospital. The company has also failed to respond to a pay claim for an above inflation (RPI) annual pay increase of an extra 30p an hour. Workers at the Trust have not had a pay increase above inflation for years. Serco has also increased workloads to unsustainable levels for cleaners across the Trust.
Unite regional officer, Gloria Sindall said: “After years of below inflation pay deals workers deserve a decent pay increase of an extra 30p an hour. Instead the company haven’t yet responded to the union’s fair demands.
“Staff are also opposing plans to cut the numbers of porters at Whipps Cross which will stretch services and lead to job losses. Cleaners have had their workloads increased to unsustainable levels across the Trust. Hard working staff deserve fairer treatment and better pay.”
Unite members will be balloted across Whipps Cross University Hospital, Royal London Hospital, St Bartholomew Hospital and Mile End Hospital. Serco posted profits of more than £82 million for 2016 and its contract to provide services to Barts NHS Trust is worth £600 million. Unite gave Serco seven days notice of its intention to hold a strike ballot on Tuesday 23 May. The ballot opens on Tuesday 30 May.
Notes to editors:
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.