Cleaners and porters will walk out of Croydon University Hospital next month over “poverty pay” and an ongoing sick pay dispute. They are employed by private firm G4S and the union claims staff are not paid the London Living Wage or offered occupational sick pay.
Members of the GMB union voted 98 per cent to strike on April 4, there was a 61 per cent turnout. GMB is calling for a minimum hourly wage of £11.05 and for the Croydon staff to be paid by G4S if they are off sick rather than having to rely on statutory sick pay, the minimum amount of £96.35 a week.
Helen O’Connor GMB organiser said: “These workers are on poverty pay have never had a voice at work before. Now they can see the power of being organised within a campaigning trade union for the very first time. They care about the patients, and they don’t want to be forced to go on strike by G4S.”
READ MORE: Croydon University Hospital could ‘grind to a halt’ if cleaners don’t get pay rise
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She added that staff have worked hard throughout the coronavirus pandemic and called on Croydon Health Services Trust to bring the roles back in house. Helen said: “GMB urges Croydon NHS to take the contract back in house and place all of the workforce on NHS terms and conditions. Otherwise, we face a strike which could cause the hospital to grind to a halt.”
The strike on April 4 follows a protest which was held outside the hospital in January. Staff could strike again and are expected to be followed by “work-to-rule” action where union members will be instructed not to carry out certain jobs in the hospital.
A spokesperson for G4S previously said: “The well-being of our staff is paramount. Our employees receive sick pay as per their contractual terms and in line with all Government and Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) guidelines.” Croydon University Hospital and G4S were contacted for comment.