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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 November 2021

Outsourced Barts health workers in strike ballot for a pay rise

Unite members protest outside Whipps Cross Hospital against the Tory NHS pay offer, 25.08.21. Photo: Isai Priya

Unite members protest outside Whipps Cross Hospital against the Tory NHS pay offer, 25.08.21. Photo: Isai Priya   (Click to enlarge)

Unite Shop Steward Barts Health Trust

Nearly 600 health workers employed at Bart's health trust, including Royal London, Whipps Cross and St. Barts hospitals, are balloting for strike action for fair pay, and against increasing workloads and bullying.

The workers are members of Unite and employed by private company Serco. They provide essential support services to patients as cleaners, porters, patient food catering workers, reception staff, and security guards. The workers' pay claim for 15% reflects the pay gap between these outsourced workers, and those directly employed by the NHS doing the same jobs, a shortfall of nearly £3k per year.

A porter told the Socialist: "We haven't got smaller shopping bills or rents than workers employed directly by the NHS doing the same jobs. It simply is unfair and that's why we have to take action".

Serco, that made huge profits from the failed test-and-trace debacle, has offered these key workers, who put their lives on the line over the last two years, a miserly 1% - a real-terms pay cut.

Last week, the company gave the trust 18 months' notice that it will be ending the contract in April 2023. This was received with joy and relief by the workers themselves. But the campaign to pressure the Barts Trust board to bring these workers and services back in house as soon as possible begins now. A huge Yes vote for strike action in the current ballot will greatly assist in this goal.

Barts bosses, having privatised these services, bear responsibility for the situation that has developed. They must now intervene to ensure the union's pay claim is met in full. Also, that the years of outsourcing are ended and that these workers are given full NHS pay, terms and conditions.

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In The Socialist 17 November 2021:


NHS

Cuts drag NHS to brink

NHS workers must take action now to save our NHS

Outsourced Barts health workers in strike ballot for a pay rise

Health and care staff shortages worsened by Tory vaccine sacking threat

Fund the fight for socialism


News

London MPs' second home swindle while workers and students struggle

Tory sleaze scandal continues, an ex-workers' MP responds

University bosses' pay piles up while workers are forced to strike


COP26

Youth fight for well-paid green jobs and socialist change

Sunak's climate finance agenda typifies capitalism's COP26 failure


China

China: Bureaucracy grapples with new crises


International

Ten years on - where has Podemos's radicalism gone?

Belarus refugees - caught between a rock and a hard place


Workplace news

S Wales Stagecoach bus drivers win 10.50 an hour

DVLA ballot turnout falls short of threshold

Striking Scunthorpe steel scaffs up the ante

Leeds cab drivers protest against taxi rank move

Fresh strikes on East Midlands Railway

An appeal to trade union members to stand as anti-cuts candidates

Clarks workers fight 'fire-and-rehire' pay cut

London couriers take action

St Mungo's report fails to address bullying and victimisation of workers


Campaigns

Resisting evictions in east London

Leeds solidarity protest says stop Sudan coup

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Why am I coming to Socialism 2021?

Birmingham People's Budget


Readers' opinion

Readers' opinion


 

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Barts:

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