100 per cent of respondents voted ‘yes’ to take strike action
Cleaners, catering staff, porters and security officers at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital are among the staff who have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking strike action over pay.
The hospital workers are employed by the private company OCS and they are amongst the lowest paid staff working in the NHS.
More than 40 OCS staff are not covered by NHS pay rates, and they are losing out by up to £2,150 this year alone.
The turnout in the ballot was 83 per cent, and an extraordinary 100 per cent of respondents voted ‘yes’ to take strike action. A strike could now take place later this month.
A member of the catering team at Liverpool Women’s Hospital said:
“I struggle to make ends meet and sometimes have to borrow money to get by. My wage only covers my rent and half of my travel costs.
“I do really love my role in the Women’s Hospital and I'm always happy to help people. But I do feel it's unfair that I provide the same service as my colleagues that are on a higher wage. I feel that the strike action is needed to make OCS aware that we just want to be treated fairly and equally.”
Maria Moss, UNISON North West Regional Organiser said:
“Why are OCS staff working in the NHS at Liverpool Women’s paid less than NHS staff? Why should some staff get paid £2,000 a year less than colleagues doing the same job? This is a real injustice that must be addressed. They deserve the NHS pay award just as NHS staff deserved it after years of pay caps and pay cuts under the Tory Government.
“All OCS staff are performing important roles that affect the quality of care and the patients’ experience of the hospital. Nobody working in the hospital should be on poverty pay. All the staff are part of the NHS team and they should all be paid the agreed NHS rate for the job.
“We raised this matter with OCS back in August and there has been no progress in getting it resolved. OCS staff are very upset about the way they are being treated and they would be wholly justified in taking strike action over this issue. They have the support of staff who are paid the NHS rates.
“OCS is a profitable, global business and they should pay all their hospital based staff the NHS rate for the job.”