Second strike in a month

Employees of Equiniti Paymaster, at Hesketh House, Fleetwood, taking industrial action.
Employees of Equiniti Paymaster, at Hesketh House, Fleetwood, taking industrial action.
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NHS administration staff have walked out of their offices for the second time this month in a dispute over pay.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union working for Equiniti at Fleetwood’s Hesketh House went on strike yesterday to demand the payment of a living wage and fair pay for all members.

The union claims Equiniti has more than enough money to be able to fund their demands, but some staff are being paid a sum which “barely exceeds the minimum wage.”

Peter Middleman, PCS regional secretary, said: “Failure to pay the living wage is a big part of the strike and we think it is entirely affordable.

“The company is making a lot of profit from the hard work of the members and justice would dictate they share in the success of the company.

“This was a one day strike but we reserve the right to call further action if Equiniti refuse to meaningfully engage with us.”

Last year Equiniti declared an increase in profits of more than 10 per cent, achieving a turnover of £268m.

However, the PCS says staff are angry at the company’s refusal to honour an agreement to benchmark their pay against others working in the public and private sector.

Around 70 members of staff, who deal with the 
administration of NHS pensions as part of their role, went on strike.

Mark Serwotka PCS General Secretary, added: “Our members have suffered years of poverty pay.

“Many rely on in-work benefits to keep a roof over their head.

“We have staff on this contract forced to go to bed at 7pm in the evening because they can’t afford to use their heating and lighting.

“Some employees are relying on food banks to feed their families.

“Their employer has made millions on the contract over the years on the backs of these workers and continue to refuse to pay a living wage.”

A spokesman for Equiniti said: “In 2012 the average pay increase for Fleetwood employees was between three per cent and five per cent.

“All employees had a pay review in 2013 and 93 per cent received a pay rise.

“Equiniti has given pay rises in line with comparable company’s pay increases.”