Cleaners at Blackpool Victoria Hospital emerge victorious in strike over unequal pay

Cleaners at Blackpool Victoria Hospital who took strike action in a row over wages and sick pay will receive a significant pay rise.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 2:32 pm

The trade union, Unison, and private company Compass have reached an agreement to finally put an end the long-running dispute.

Before the settlement, Blackpool Vic cleaners employed by Compass were on the national minimum wage (£8.21 per hour), while colleagues employed directly by the NHS were earning at least £9.03.

Following the vote for industrial action in July, the Compass staff went out on strike for a total of 14 days.

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Strikers at Blackpool Vic

The Unison-brokered deal – voted for by 89 per cent of the domestics – means they will now receive a significant pay rise, more money for working weekends and bank holidays and an improved sick pay scheme.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Christmas will be even more special for these staff who’ve been battling for months to be treated fairly. There can be no justification for creating a divisive two-tier health service.

“The big winners from the settlement will be staff and patients, who’ll be pleased to learn that Compass has put people before profits.”

Unison North West regional organiser Pat Woolham said: “This substantial pay rise will make a huge difference to the families of these dedicated hospital workers. The positive end to this campaign shows what can be achieved when unions and employers work together.

“It’s been a tough dispute but we look forward to working with Compass in the future for the benefit of patients and staff in Blackpool.”

A Medirest spokesman said: “People are the very foundation of our business and we are pleased that through ongoing dialogue and working closely with our NHS Trust clients, UNISON and our employees we have reached a resolution.

"Supporting hospitals deliver the best patient care is always at the heart of what we do and we remain committed to delivering the highest standards of service at these hospitals.”