Hospital staff to take further strike action - union

King's Mill Hospital
Staff from three hospitals, including King's Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield, are walking out [BBC]

Support staff at three hospitals in Nottinghamshire are planning two further days of strike action in a dispute over pay.

Nearly 300 workers employed by Medirest to work at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are due to walk out from 06:00 BST on Thursday for 48 hours, the GMB union said.

The group, which includes porters, cleaners, and security staff, previously went on strike for 24 hours on 17 May in a dispute over Covid bonus payments.

Hospital bosses said they were working with Medirest on contingency plans to "minimise disruption".

'Second class staff'

The union said staff working at King's Mill Hospital, Mansfield Community Hospital and Newark Hospital, were "furious" that "bosses refused to keep terms and conditions in line with colleagues employed directly by the NHS".

Union organiser Cameron Mitchell said: “They don’t get weekend enhancements, they don’t get fair parental rights or sick pay and they are still waiting for the Covid recovery bonus paid to NHS staff.

“On a Sunday, Medirest workers are paid almost £10 an hour less than colleagues doing the same work on the NHS payroll.

“They are being treated like second class staff and they are not taking it any more.”

Chris Dann, deputy chief operating officer at Sherwood Forest Hospitals, said the trust was working with Medirest on contingency plans to "minimise disruption".

“We recognise and value the vital roles our Medirest colleagues undertake on behalf of our patients and people, and we acknowledge their right to take industrial action," he said.

“We hope a resolution can be speedily found.”

A spokesperson for Medirest said the company was "disappointed" that workers have decided to strike.

"All our employees received a separate pay uplift last year and have access to a range of employee benefits," they said.

"The eligibility criteria for the Covid bonus payment is in the hands of the Department of Health and Social Care.

"While we are pleased that some of our employees have been identified as eligible and are due to receive the bonus payment imminently, we recognise it is disappointing for those who do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria."

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