Hospitals and health centres across Norwich and Norfolk are facing significant disruption impacting on patients, as workers employed by Norse Commercial Services prepare to take strike action in a dispute over pay.

Maintenance work 

The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, undertake critical maintenance duties for all Norfolk Community and Health Care Trusts’ hospitals and health centres.

The workers have rejected a four per cent pay increase which is a substantial real terms pay cut with the current true inflation rate (RPI) standing at 10.7 per cent. Industrial relations have further deteriorated as Norse has imposed the four per cent increase and blamed the hospital trust for not being prepared to increase payments on the contract.

Initial strike

The workers will take strike action from 08:00 Thursday 17 August until 07:59 on Tuesday 22 August. During this time the hospital trust will have no maintenance support, including emergency callouts. Further strikes are likely unless the dispute is swiftly resolved.

Real terms pay cut

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members employed by Norse on the Norfolk hospital trust contract play an essential role, keeping the hospital and health centres fully functioning. There is no way that they will accept a significant real terms pay cut.

“Norse and the Norfolk Community hospital trust need to stop passing the buck and ensure our members receive a fair pay increase.”


In addition to the strike action, Unite will be organising a demonstration outside the Norfolk Community Health Care Trust head office, Bowthorpe Road, Norwich NR2 3TU on Monday 14 August at 10:30.

Significant disruption

Unite regional officer Adam Oakes said: “Strike action is set to cause significant disruption and will impact patients. This is a direct result of the failure of both Norse and the hospital trust to ensure our members receive a fair pay increase. Both organisations have been given every opportunity to resolve this matter and have failed to do so.”


For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.