GMB members to vote on whether to accept new pay offer

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, WoolwichToday’s planned strike by GMB members at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich has been suspended after bosses made an inflation-busting pay offer.

More than 250 health workers employed by private contractor ISS Mediclean were due to take five days’ action because they earn less than their colleagues employed by the NHS.

The new offer sees the lowest paid staff receive a rise to the new minimum NHS rate of £7.72 per hour (£15,100 per year) from next month. The members will decide whether or not to accept the offer.

GMB regional organiser Nadine Houghton said: “GMB has consistently argued that workers in the NHS employed by contractors should not be paid less than comparable NHS staff.

“The offer to increase the rates for the lowest graded to staff to the NHS rate of £7.72 per hour represents a step forward in this regard. It is a pay rate these staff are fully entitled to. They are the cooks, the cleaners, the porters, the ward hostess, switchboard operators and security guards. They perform the jobs that keep the hospital running.

“If the deal is accepted the majority of members will have seen their pay rise from £7.10 to £7.72 per hour over the course of the dispute, a pay rise of 8.7%. Increases in pay for higher banded staff have still to be resolved but the company have committed to improving these, something which will form the basis of negotiations over the next few weeks.

:Although we still have some issues to be addressed, this pay increase represents a major step forward for our members.

GMB rejects the argument that workers for contractors should get less that those they work with and this deal goes a long way to correcting this injustice.

“Whilst we will continue to look for improvements with regards to other terms and conditions, this victory shows what happens when workers stand together.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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