A two-day strike of porters and cleaners working at Croydon’s biggest hospital which was due to begin today has been suspended following an 11th-hour pay offer from the NHS’s outsource contractors, G4S.
The GMB union representing many of the ancillary staff working at Mayday Hospital suspended the planned industrial action in order to ballot members on a pay offer from the company.
The dispute arose because many of the low-paid workers employed by G4S found themselves on much reduced terms compared to others working at the hospital, often carrying out the same jobs.
The dispute included an important claim for improved sick pay terms: over the past couple of years, many of the low-paid workers have felt forced to turn up for work when ill, possibly even with covid, because the would have received no pay when off work.
The latest G4S offer being considered by the union members consists of a 10% pay rise, increase of sick pay from eight days to four weeks, and a £200 bonus.
The offer was only made after the union threatened the two-day strike action.
“Our members remain up for the fight and are determined to win the same terms and conditions as colleagues directly employed by the NHS,” said the GMB’s Helen O’Connor.
“GMB is a member-led organisation and we will let them decide whether this offer is sufficient to put a stop to their campaign. Though the two days of action have been called off, the strike mandate remains live.
“If the members decide that this is not enough to put them on level pegging with other colleagues, GMB will not hesitate to escalate their campaign and help them go out on strike in the coming weeks.”
- Listen to the Croydon Insider podcast, where the issue of creeping privatisation of the NHS is causing strike action over unfair employment terms is one of the topics up for discussion. Premium content available exclusively to Inside Croydon subscribers. Click here
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