Post: Unite announces Christmas strike dates in dispute with a London NHS trust

Unite announces Christmas strike dates in dispute with a London NHS trust

Further strike action taking place across the Barts NHS Trust due to lack of action over pay and staffing levels

Unite The Union is taking a fresh wave of action as disputes continue with Barts NHS Trust as union members undertake new strikes in London this month.

The strikes are part of Unite’s campaign to increase pay and end unsafe staffing afflicting NHS workers.

Over 1,000 workers at Barts Health NHS Trust are in dispute over pay, safe staffing levels, bank rates and lump-sum payments. Workers are experiencing staff shortages, which have reached such a level that they risk the health of patients and threaten staff welfare.

The latest strikes include Christmas Day and Boxing Day and will cause significant disruption to catering, portering, cleaning and facilities maintenance over the festive period.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Barts could easily end this dispute but it is refusing to agree to Unite’s reasonable demands. Our NHS members are fighting for fair pay and to put an end to dangerously low levels of staffing.

“It is an outrage that our members at Barts, who are some of the lowest paid staff in the NHS and who are struggling during this cost of living crisis, have been denied the lump-sum payment they are entitled to.”

Additional staff from the East and South East London pathology partnership employed by Barts are also joining the dispute due to anger over an imposed restructure that they believe will put patient safety at risk.

Unite is also in dispute with a number of other trusts and contractors who are refusing to pay the owed money, despite members working during the pandemic.

Workers have been taking part in strike action having been on picket lines earlier in the autumn, yet the trust and at Synergy are refusing to acknowledge the reasonable demands of their workers.

Unite regional officer Tabusam Ahmed said: “Unite is determined to use every avenue to win this campaign. Alongside industrial action, Unite is also considering possible legal avenues and where a case exists, the union will not hesitate to use it.

“Barts could end this dispute today if it came back to the negotiating table to engage in meaningful discussions to resolve these issues. The forthcoming strike action will cause disruption, delays and cancellations at the affected hospitals. The NHS, however, is in crisis every day due to chronic staffing shortages which are exacerbated by low pay.”