Unite to hold protests at NHS London trusts during pay and staffing strikes
- Thursday 7 September 2023
Unite, the UK’s leading union, is undertaking a series of demonstrations and marches in London next week as part of its campaign to increase pay and end unsafe staffing afflicting NHS workers.
When: Wednesday 13 September, 12pm
Where: Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1FR
There will be a further demonstration on Thursday 14 September at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7EH beginning at 12pm. Speeches will take place from 12:30 and then at 13:00 demonstrators will march to Trafalgar Square.
The workers at the Royal London Hospital, which is part of the Barts NHS Trust, are in dispute because they did not receive the £1,655 lump sum payment that was part of the NHS pay settlement for 2022/23.
The workers, who primarily undertake soft facilitator roles (cleaners, housekeepers, caterers, porters, etc), were previously employed by outsourcer Serco and only transferred back to the NHS in recent months. The trust has refused to honour the lump sum payment. Unite has also rejected the government’s pay deal as it amounted to a further real terms pay cut for NHS workers.
Fair pay and safe staffing
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our NHS members are making a stand to ensure that they are paid fairly and that the chronic problem of staff shortages, which is placing patients in danger, is no longer swept under the carpet.
“It is intolerable that our members at Barts, who are some of the lowest paid staff in the NHS and who are living hand to mouth, have been denied the one-off payment they fully deserve.”
The striking workers are employed at Barts Health NHS Trust, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust, East London Foundation Trust and Guys and St Thomas’.
The Barts workers will be on strike from 13-14 September and then from 16 – 22 September. Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust workers will strike from 13-14 September. East London Foundation Trust workers will strike on 13 September and Guys and St Thomas’ workers on 13-14 September.
Unite members are increasingly alarmed about staff shortages affecting patient care and management’s failure to resolve the problem. A recent survey of Unite NHS members revealed that 48 per cent said during the past year staffing levels in their areas regularly reached a point where “patient care has been compromised and unsafe”. For workers in frontline roles these figures rose to 57 per cent.
Unite national lead officer Onay Kasab said: “The forthcoming strike action will cause disruption, delays and cancellations at the affected hospitals. The NHS, however, is in crisis everyday due to chronic staffing shortages.
“NHS employers and the government have had years to tackle the staff shortages and low pay that are forcing people out of the NHS but have failed to do so.”
Notes to editors
For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications advisor Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235.
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.