Unite members employed by cleaning contractor ISS at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen hospitals have overwhelmingly voted for strike action in a dispute over pay parity, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, Unite announced today (Wednesday 8 May).

Delivering a ‘massive’ message to bosses, 99.5 per cent of Unite members voted for strike action and 100 per cent for action short of strike on a turnout of 81 per cent.

The staff, predominately women, are angry that ISS, a multibillion pound global outsourcing giant, is not paying them the agreed national pay uplift for NHS workers.

ISS employs hospital cleaners, porters and domestic staff at the two Liverpool hospitals, many of whom are paid hourly and earn the minimum wage.

Unite is pressing for pay parity in line with directly employed NHS and other contracted colleagues doing the same job at the Women’s and Walton hospitals who received 11.4 per cent.

The outsourcing company is also under fire from Unite over its plans to withhold up to a week’s pay from workers after introducing a new payroll system for its workers, including hourly paid workers. The move has prompted demonstrations and condemnation from political figures.

Commenting Unite regional officer Derek Jones said: “This overwhelming result delivers a massive and clear message to both ISS and the hospital trust that our members are committed to winning a fair and equitable pay rise for all.

“Bosses should be under no illusion. Our members will not shy away from taking strike action and an overtime ban to have the maximum impact if needed.

“We urge the hospital trust and ISS to wake up and recognise the depth of anger by coming back to the negotiating table and offering all ISS workers the full NHS pay rise and back pay they deserve.”


For more information please contact Derek Jones on 07718 668 489 and/or Unite communications officer Karen Viquerat on 0151 559 2004 or 07768 931 316 or Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869 

Notes to editors:

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