Hospital cleaners in Basildon are celebrating today (Thursday) after winning their battle for a pay rise, with the help of their union UNISON.
The low-paid domestic staff at Basildon University Hospital had been on the minimum wage after being transferred back into the NHS from private contractor OCS two years ago.
But following pressure from UNISON, the cleaners have won a 3% pay rise backdated to April, and will be put back on full NHS contracts in December.
This will give the 300 staff the same pay as other directly employed hospital cleaners, as well as the same holiday, sick pay and unsocial hours payments as their co-workers at Basildon Hospital.
UNISON regional organiser Sam Older praised Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Trust for “doing the right thing” after two years of campaigning.
He said: “This is great news for the hundreds of domestic workers unfairly denied a decent wage despite being directly employed by the NHS.
“This agreement doesn’t just mean more money in the pockets of these hard-working staff – who are absolutely vital to maintaining a safe and clean hospital environment – the sick pay means they won’t be forced to come into work when they’re unwell.
“Above all, it shows the importance of being in a union if you want to win and be treated fairly at work.”
A domestic at the hospital said: “It’s brilliant. Everyone was really negative and didn’t think this would happen, or that would at least take years.
“It’s definitely boosted morale. Staff deserve this.”
Pictured are a small group of the members with UNISON workplace rep Dave Nicholls, branch secretary Dave Burton and regional organiser Sam Older.