11 March 2014
Members on £6.31 are 44% below the lowest comparable NHS rate in London of £9.09 per hour and if talks do not make progress this seven days of strike action will go ahead says GMB.
Talks between the company and GMB were taking place on 10th March to seek to resolve a dispute over pay and conditions for 150 GMB members employed by Compass Medirest at Ealing Hospital Trust
GMB has given notice of a further seven days of strike action between 7am Friday 14th March to 7am on Friday 21st March 2014.This follows four days of strike action on 12th, 13th,19th and 20th February 2013, February. Over 98% voted in an official ballot to take strike action.The staff taking strike action are employed as domestic, catering, porters and help desk workers.
Worker taken on by Medirest since the work was outsourced are offered lower terms and conditions than comparable NHS staff or those transferred under TUPE to this contract. There is a two tier workforce as Medirest do not pay Agenda for Change rates or conditions. Comparable NHS rates range from £7.33 to £8.34 per hour plus London Weighting of £1.76 per hour.
GMB members are seeking an increase in pay as a step towards a London living wage of £8.80 per hour. They are currently paid national minimum wage of £6.31 per hour. They are also seeking an additional two days of annual leave and sick pay for 1 week full pay and 3 weeks half pay. There is now no sick pay.
Stella George-Duesbury, Regional Organiser, said “These vital NHS workers are on the national minimum rate of £6.31. Their pay rate is 44% below the lowest comparable NHS rate in London of £9.09 per hour. This two tier workforce is simply not acceptable.
There has been no progress in talks over this dispute in spite of members taking four days of strike action. GMB has now notified Medirest of further planned strike action of 7 days continuous from Friday 14th March to on Friday 21st March 2014.
Medirest has responded by requesting a meeting which they claim will be meaningful in response to GMB members claim. The meeting is taking place on Monday 10th March 2014. I will be attending with two GMB representatives and we will listen to the employers response.
Should the company response be a long way from what members are seeking the negotiations will not continue. Should the company put forward a response that is reasonable this will be put to members in the form of a ballot. Failing agreement, the strike will continue as planned from Friday 14th March 2014.”
Contact: Stella George-Duesbury, Regional Organise 020 8202 8272 or 07730 091070 or Justin Bowden 07710 631 351 or GMB press office 07921 289880