Bosses react to hospital strikes

Tuesday, 13 February 2024 00:13

By Martyn Smith, Local Democracy Reporter

Bosses say they are disappointed about an escalation of strike action at Russells Hall hospital by non-medical staff.

On Friday (February 9) the Unison trade union announced its members would be joining Unite workers on the picket line for twice weekly walkouts.

Staff including porters, catering workers and cleaners from Unison will be striking from February 23 in a dispute over an unpaid bonus for staff who remained on duty during the pandemic.

The striking staff work for private company Mitie who say the payment is part of a wider deal with NHS staff only. A spokesperson for Mitie said:

“We’re disappointed that Unison members have voted to take industrial action, given we’ve kept our colleagues regularly updated that we are still awaiting a response from government on our funding application. 

“As always, our priority is to ensure that our services continue to be delivered and we have strong contingencies in place to avoid any disruption to patient care. 

“We’re proud of the hard work and dedication of all our colleagues up and down the UK, including those supporting the NHS. We’re an award-winning employer, committed to offering industry leading benefits to all our colleagues.” 

The strike could involve up to 450 workers and unions say it is the biggest action of its type in two decades. The size of each payment is related to workers’ pay, unions say amounts start at around £1,400. Diane Wake, chief executive at Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are aware of the decision from Mitie’s Unison workers to move forward with strike action later this month.

 “As always, maintaining the care and safety of our patients remains our highest priority and we are working closely with all our services to support them with this.

 “We value all the work our PFI partner staff contribute to the running of our services and the part they play in delivering excellent patient care here at The Dudley Group.”


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