Workers transferred to the NHS from Serco demand pay justice and safe staffing

Unite accuses Barts of short changing some of the lowest paid workers in the trust

Over 1,000 NHS workers at Barts Health NHS Trust will begin voting on industrial action today (Tuesday 11 July) in a dispute over low pay and understaffing. 

Last year a tireless campaign by Unite activists and union reps, which included strike action, paved the way for the workers to be transferred to NHS employment. The cleaners, caterers, porters, security guards, ward hosts and domestic staff had previously been employed by Serco.

But over 1000 workers who transferred onto NHS terms after 31 March 2023 are absolutely furious that Barts is refusing to pay them a £1,655 lump sum which is part of the NHS pay deal.

A significant number of workers are also losing money due to the way the NHS disregarded their length of service while employed by Serco and attempts by the Trust to pay workers inferior overtime rates.

The workforce are also suffering the effects of the worst staffing crisis in NHS history. Over stretched and overworked, they are calling on Barts and the UK Government to address the chronic shortages blighting their hospitals.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “Over 1,000 workers who won their rights to be NHS workers are now fighting against low pay and understaffing at Barts. They’re employed by the NHS now so they should be paid the lump sum like everybody else.

“The workers have a proud history of fighting for fairness and winning. Unite will not accept the lowest paid workers at the trust being short changed.”

The ballot opens today (Tuesday 11 July) and closes on Tuesday 22 August.

Unite regional officer, Tabusam Ahmed said: “Unite will not allow Barts to continue to pay workers who are no longer outsourced less money than other NHS staff. Barts has chosen to continue to do wrong by these workers who have been underpaid for over a decade. It’s time to stop cutting corners and pay workers what they’re owed including NHS bank workers." (see notes)

A survey of over 3,000 Unite members, working in a multitude of roles throughout the NHS in England, revealed that 48 per cent said that in the past year staffing levels in their area regularly reached a point where “patient care has been compromised and unsafe”.



NHS staff bank is an entity managed by a trust, or through a third-party organisation who contract healthcare professionals to take on temporary shifts at trust hospitals.

Contact: Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315