Low paid workers announce 25 more days of strike action at largest health trust in England

Hundreds of low paid workers determined to secure a fair pay increase from their employer Serco have announced 25 more days of strike action at Barts Health NHS Trust.

Talks are scheduled between Unite and Serco this Friday (11 August). Strike action can be avoided if Serco gets serious about resolving this dispute and brings a fair pay offer to the negotiating table. The workers are preparing to take 25 days of strike action spread across five weeks beginning on 18 August.

Following talks on the 24 July the workforce rejected a ‘measly’ offer of just £2 extra a week. The workforce most of whom earn just above the London living wage want 30 pence an hour extra following years of low pay and below inflation pay deals.

Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon said: “Hundreds of low paid workers vital to maintaining a clean and safe health service are fighting for fair pay and dignity at work. They have already taken 23 days of strike action and are preparing for 25 more days of action during August and September. Serco has an opportunity to end this dispute at England’s largest health trust by offering a fair pay offer at talks this Friday.

“The strikes have been solidly supported and it’s quite clear that Unite members remain determined and focused. At recent talks Serco offered a measly £2 extra a week when workers are calling for an extra 30 pence an hour. After years of pay deals which have meant pay cuts in real terms they deserve better.

“We urge Serco to get serious and address the scourge of low pay affecting the workforce who keep our hospitals safe and clean.”

Unite members have already held a 48-hour strike on Tuesday 4 July, a seven day strike from Tuesday 11 July and a 14 day strike from 25 July. The workers are now taking 25 days of strike action spread across five weeks beginning on 18 August. The workers will take strike action on each Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of the five week period .

Serco won the £600 million soft services contract for Barts Health NHS Trust last year. The company made a profit of £82 million in 2016.


Please take a moment to send a message to the Serco bosses and others. Fair pay is not too much to ask for!
Can you make a donation to help the strikers? Can you get your union/organisation to make a donation? Email me back for appeal letter and collection sheet. 

Unite members who work for privatisation giants Serco Plc, have been on strike for nine days and are about to start a two week strike. You can help by emailing Serco and Barts NHS to demand fair play. Take action now to add your support.

“We are cleaners, porters and security workers in the Barts Heath NHS Trust. Our work is vital to high quality, safe patient care. Many of us have dedicated decades of our working lives to the NHS.

We have been privatised to Serco who boasted a £80 million profit last year but have refused a 30p pay rise. With inflation anything less will make us poorer. Will you help pressure Serco & St Barts to act?

Our strike is solid and we voted by 99% to go on strike yet Serco have been illegally using newly hired zero hour contract agency staff to do the work of striking workers.

Will you take just a few seconds to send emails to Serco and St Barts to tell them to play fair by loyal, low-paid workers?

Thanks for your support!