Hundreds of London's hospital workers walk out in 30p pay protest

Staff at four London hospitals gathered in pickets on Wednesday morning as they launched a major cleaner's strike.

Hundreds of cleaners, porters, catering and security staff, employed by Serco on between £9.75 and £10.80 per hour, are insisting on a 30p wage increase to keep pace with the increasing costs of living in the capital.

Serco has pledged that services at Whipps Cross University Hospital, the Royal London, St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Mile End Hospital will not be hit despite the walkout of several hundred staff on Tuesday.

Read also: more society news of London.

However activists tweeted images of dirty toilets at Mile End Hospital on Wednesday.

Domestic workers, whose jobs entail keeping hospitals clean as well as feeding patients and moving beds, say that since Serco won a £600 million contract with Barts Health NHS Trust last year, they have been harder pressed while wages have stagnated.

Worker Margaret Acheampomaa wrote for the Independent that cleaners are now expected to perform 57 tasks per shift from mopping to high dusting, while colleagues began to suffer tendonitis, aching joints and ganglion cysts.

"I have frequently seen colleagues, grown men and women, break down into tears," she wrote.

Unite national officer Colenzo Jarret-Thorpe said: “Low paid workers who keep our hospitals clean, safe and running smoothly are not prepared to get poorer while the multimillion pound privateer Serco rakes in millions.

“Unite members working for Serco at Barts are refusing to accept one per cent after seeing their real living standards drop year on year.”

Mr Jarret-Thorpe said: “Workers regularly report getting home late, tired and sore from the intense workload heaped on them by Serco - they deserve better treatment and better pay. We urge Serco to get around the negotiating table and resolve this dispute."

Serco won the £600 million soft services contract for Barts last year. The firm made a profit of £82 million in 2016 across its global business.

The firm insists it wants to pay workers fairly, but it has blocked further increases of 30 per hour.

Phil Mitchell, Serco contracts director, said: “We agreed with the Trust that all our staff would be paid at least the London living wage of £9.75 per hour from day one of our contract, resulting in an average increase in pay of 3.5 per cent for over 100 permanent staff.

"For those staff on higher salaries, we have protected all their terms and conditions and offered a pay increase for this year which is in line with NHS colleagues.

"We have robust plans in place to ensure we are continuing to support the Trust’s hospitals to care for patients as normal during Unite’s action.”

Staff took part in a three-day strike last week that disrupted hospital services as toilets reportedly went uncleaned and beds were left on floors.

The current strike is planned to last until next Tuesday morning, but staff have warned that they will stage a further 14-day stoppage starting on July 25 with further strike action planned for August and September. 

Read other news on the city site of London.
hospitalworkers protest
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
2 views in december
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Thames Water said the Beast from the East and summer heatwave had an impact on its ability to meet leakage targets as it reported interim pre-tax profits crashing to £67.7 million from £218.5 million a year ago. The water company also revealed the extreme weather sent complaints soaring as it battled supply interruptions, with written customer complaints jumping to 11,083 in the half-year to September 30 from 8,242 a year earlier. Thames Water was ordered...
A British tourist has gone missing in New Zealand, sparking an international appeal for help from her family. Grace Millane was last seen in Auckland on Saturday night (Dec 1), and has not been in contact with her family since - despite her 22nd birthday being on Sunday. Her family, from Basildon in Essex, have alerted the British Embassy in New Zealand and reported her missing to police in Auckland, as well as sharing 'missing' posters on social media. De...
The main reason for sickness absence in the London Fire Brigade is now stress, anxiety and depression, Commissioner Dany Cotton has said. LFB has seen a "small increase" in the number of days taken off as sick leave over the last three years, Ms Cotton, the brigade's most senior firefighter, said. It is the first time mental health has been the leading cause of the absences, she told the London Assembly on Thursday. LFB employed four extra counsellors foll...
A 77-year-old woman who collapsed while calling police to report a burglary at her home is critically ill in hospital. She dialled 999 on Monday to report intruders had forced their way into her home in Bells Hill, High Barnet, north-east London, and stolen property. During the call, the police operator heard her collapse. Paramedics arrived and she was taken to hospital, where her family remains at her bedside. Scotland Yard said its Homicide and Major Cr...
A medieval skeleton wearing a pair of thigh-high leather boots has been found during excavations for London's new sewer. The skeleton was discovered face down in mud at the Chambers Wharf site in Bermondsey during work to create the Thames Tideway Tunnel. Archaeologists believe the man may have died during the late 15th Century while carrying out work near the river. MOLA Headland Infrastructure said it was a "rare" and "fascinating" find. The consortium i...
Christmas lights in an upmarket shopping street were taken down after just three days by council inspectors who branded them a “death trap”. The decorations were put up in Primrose Hill by Jonny Bucknell, the son of the UK’s first DIY television star Barry Bucknell, with a switch-on ceremony on Sunday by model Jo Wood, ex-wife of Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie, and singer-songwriter Collette Cooper. But on Wednesday, Camden council bosses removed and impo...
More than 130,000 children across Great Britain will spend Christmas in temporary accommodation, official figures suggest. One in every 103 under-18s is officially homeless, a 59% rise in five years, housing charity Shelter said. One mother-of-three said her children were preparing for Christmas in a one-room bed and breakfast for the second year running. Councils said a lack of housing had left them "struggling to cope". Using government statistics, Shelt...
News Company
Thanks to the groundbreaking partnership between MoneyTO and the Polish company South Link Commerce, it's now faster and easier to make online money transfers from the UK to Polish bank accounts. The deal between the two companies was finalized at Fintech 360 conference, the annual gathering of financial innovators, in Vienna, Austria. As Polish is the most common non-British nationality in the UK, with an estimated total of 1 million Poles making Britain...
A treetop adventure course popular with Cara Delevingne and Mo Farah has extended its after-dark sessions after a surge in demand.  Go Ape in Battersea has opened up one of its high-rope challenges from 5pm until 6.30pm so daredevils can test their climbing skills in darkness. Olympic legend Farah scaled the 50ft-high course with his family this month. Other celebrity adventurers have included grime star Stormzy and actors Will Ferrell, David Schwimmer and...