Domestics at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow will take six days of strike action to stop plans to kick their jobs out of the NHS.
UNISON warns that plans to move 220 cleaning and domestic staff at the hospital out of the NHS would damage the Trust’s excellent infection control rates and hit staff pay and conditions.
A massive 99% of domestics backed strikes on an 84% turnout in the ballot.
They will now walk out for 24 hours on Thursday 6 June, the date of the next Trust board meeting.
The Trust claims it is still market testing the service and will not be able to make a decision on outsourcing until at least August, but UNISON says it should ditch the whole process immediately.
If the hospital refuses to stop outsourcing, the domestics will stage a 48-hour strike on 11 and 12 June and then walk out for 72 hours on 18, 19 and 20 June.
UNISON Eastern regional organiser Caroline Hennessy said: “These loyal domestics have had the threat of being sold out of the NHS hanging over their heads for far too long.
“Princess Alexandra bosses have offered warm words about how much they value their staff but their actions are nothing short of insulting.
“They’ve had months to admit that this whole exercise has been a damaging mistake, but instead they’ve just told staff they’re going to be left in limbo until the middle of summer or beyond.
“None of these workers want to go on strike, but their commitment to their patients, their hospital and their NHS has left them with no choice.
“Princess Alexandra Hospital can bring this whole dispute to an end with one phone call and a promise that it will keep its domestic services in house.”