PRESS RELEASE: Major NHS Trust forced to terminate use of private contractors

United Voices of the World Union

For immediate release
30th January 2020

Major NHS Trust forced to terminate use of private contractors

  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has been forced to directly employ a thousand cleaners, caterers and porters outsourced to Sodexo
  • The decision made by the Trust’s Board on January 29th brings an end to decades of outsourcing to private contractors
  • This is the first time an NHS Trust has been forced by strike action to end the outsourcing of a group of workers
  • The migrant workforce is represented by the trade union United Voices of the World

Workers at St. Mary’s Hospital are celebrating a historic victory today after Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust announced it would in-house the entirety of its cleaners, caterers and porters within the next 2 months. Several hundred workers, outsourced for over 3 decades to global giants such as Sodexo and ISS across 5 hospitals belonging to Imperial Trust, will now enjoy the same pay and terms and conditions as NHS staff. The announcement marks the end of a three month long industrial dispute between the Trust and trade union United Voices of the World (UVW).

Petros Elia, the organiser of the strikes and UVW co-founder said the following: “Today marks a huge victory not just for these brave workers, but for all outsourced workers in the NHS. Our members were told they would never win this fight, but with the full backing of UVW and mass picketing, blockades and occupations they’ve won against all odds. This victory sets a historic precedent which we hope other workers will follow in demanding an end to outsourcing across the NHS.”

Petros continued, “this is also a victory for patients. Study after study shows hospitals that outsource their ancillary staff have higher incidences of infections, including MRSA, and patient complaints are higher when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness. Cutting out profit hungry contractors will allow the Trust to put patient health and safety first.”

Loretta, a worker who was instrumental in organising her colleagues, said: “In November our strikes forced them [the Trust] to pay us the London Living Wage, it meant we got an extra several hundred pounds a month, but it wasn’t enough. We thought, “why shouldn’t we be paid like all other NHS workers?” and we kept on fighting for full equality. Now I won’t have to choose between paying my rent and protecting my health. Striking was not an easy thing to do, but we’ve proven that by sticking together, and by having the support of the amazing union UVW, that workers can win for themselves and patients up and down the country.”

–Ends—

For more quotes, photos and any other enquiries contact:

Kane Shaw, Editorial Lead – Campaign Communications, tel. 07950 927798 email. kane@uvwunion.org.uk

Petros Elia, Lead Organiser – tel. 07884 553443 – email. petros@uvwunion.org.uk

Gabrielle Jeliazkov, Editorial Lead – Campaign Communications, tel. 07761 542653, gabrielle@uvwunion.org.uk

See also https://www.uvwunion.org.uk/stmarysworkers

Previous strike dates:

  • 28th, 29th and 31st of October
  • 11th, 12th and 13th of November
  • 25th, 26th, 27th of November

Outsourcing and the NHS

The outsourcing of cleaning, catering and portering services have been outlawed by all devolved governments since the early to late 2000s.

Link to our report on site here

About the dispute

Prior to winning an unconditional commitment from the Trust to increase their pay from national minimum wage to the (now old) London Living Wage of £10.55 per hour – secured after their third day of strike action – the workers did not receive occupational sick pay, annual leave allowance or pension contributions above the statutory minimum. The victory means that the workers will receive hugely improved T&Cs and an extra £6,000 – £10,000 per year compared to their former pay on the national minimum wage; with those previously on £6.16 per hour receiving an 83% pay rise to £11.31per hour and those on £8.21 per hour a 57% pay rise to £12.92.

United Voices of the World (UVW) is a London-based trade union with 3000 members and around 200 joining every month. The majority of its members work in low-paid jobs and are migrants predominantly from Latin America and the Caribbean — with a growing number from Asia and Africa. In 2016, the union organised the largest cleaners strike in UK history and became the first trade union to force a UK university (the LSE) to bring the entirety of its outsourced cleaners in-house. It also organised one of the longest strikes in the history of the City of London, lasting 61 consecutive days. UVW also represents workers in the legal sector, charity sector, cultural sector, architectural sector, and sex workers too — all of whom are fighting against low pay, unpaid work and overwork.

The Acorn – 54

winter oak

acorn 2019b

Number 54

In this issue:

  1. Mobilising against the assault on nature
  2. X-axis: the money behind the greenwash
  3. With friends like these…
  4. Neoliberalism is the new fascism
  5. George Orwell: an orgrad inspiration
  6. Acorninfo

1.  Mobilising against the assault on nature

NDFN Betrayal-by-Mario-Sánchez-Nevado ‘Betrayal’ by Mario Sánchez Nevado

The much-vaunted “green” agenda of the World Economic Forum (WEF) is coming under attack as its annual Davos summit gets underway.

A new international campaign has been launched which alleges the WEF is guilty of spearheading a bid by corporations and financial institutions to “monetize” nature on a global scale.

It is calling on people across the world to hold public meetings, disseminate information, form local campaign groups and “to take whatever action is necessary” to halt the so-called “New Deal for Nature”.

An online statement from the “No Deal for Nature” alliance, whose slogan is “life is not a commodity”, has already won…

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Red And Black Telly: BREXIT IS UPON US – FINALLY !

Red And Black Telly: CHARLES-ARE WE BEING GROOMED?

UVW union launches solidarity letter in defiance of continued threats from bosses and cops

Cautiously pessimistic

View image

A short announcement from the United Voices of the World union:

ATTN: Unions / CLPs / Community Organizations / Individuals: St. George’s University still refuses to negotiate with our striking workers. They have, yet again, threatened to call the police on our peaceful and lawful picket line.

If you are worried about the implications of these sort of strike breaking tactics, and believe that police have no place intimidating and arresting peaceful striking workers and their supporters, then we are asking you to sign this letter of solidarity condemning SGUL and the Metropolitan Police’s actions. If you would like to sign the letter – as a group or individual – simply message us or comment your confirmation. Solidarity!

If you want to contact them to add your support, you can do so on fb, twitter, or email info@uvwunion.org.uk. Or probably on insta as well, if you prefer.

Angry Workers / Ugh! / T-Bitch Friday 3rd April Bournemouth.

Anarchy in the Sticks!

Socialist realism – wait till you see T-Bitch!

Friday 3rd April 7 pm Presentation and discussion by West London’s Angry WorkersCollective on their experiences of organising chiefly migrant workers in the warehouse/retail/food sector over the last 6 years.

Followed by: From 9 pm a benefit gig for the bookfair featuring Ugh! and T-Bitch Theatrical, anarchic comedy punk you will never forget! Bar until 2 am.

The Four Horsemen Pub 77-79 Commercial Rd Bournemouth Dorset BH2 5RT. Suggested donation £4 on the door

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People power gets a result

Image from Gaz de Vere

This is from the Save Southend NHS Facebook page

SOME GREAT NEWS from Southend Council Special Scrutiny Committee. Thanks to the petition and our community campaigning highlighting the downgrade of Shoebury Ambulance station, due to be implemented without consultation, for now this has been HALTED. The East of England Ambulance chiefs will now do a second round of re-modelling analysis on statistics and response times and then return to present this to the council before a period of public consultation before any further changes.

The transfer of those vehicles currently based at Shoebury would have gone ahead unchallenged if we, the local community hadn’t shouted loudly raising the issue. Thank you all for your support thus far.

#PeoplePowerWorks #CutsHaveConsequences

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