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Fighting NHS outsourcers at Blackburn and Blackpool hospitals

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NHS workers at Blackburn and Blackpool hospitals walked out for four days last week against outsourcing bosses
Issue 2816
NHS workers striking on the picket line holding Unison flags and banners against outsourcing in the NHS

OCS strikers on the picket lines fighting NHS outsourcers (Picture: Twitter/ @NorthWestUnison)

Health workers at Blackburn and Blackpool hospitals walked out for four days last week. They are in their second round of action in their battle for pay.

Strikers, who are members of the Unison union, do not get the unsocial hours payments and other terms that NHS workers get. That’s because the porters, cleaners and caterers are outsourced to private firm OCS. Pickets were joined by workers from north west ambulance service, Greater Manchester Mental Health Unison branches and the local trades council. 

  • Tweet messages of support to @NorthWestUNISON and @OCSDispute

Workers in Doncaster began voting in a consultative ballot on Monday this week. 

The Unison union members at the Children’s Trust are fighting transfer arrangements that would see them lose out on pay. Some 700 workers are being brought back in house to Doncaster council following a damning Ofsted report. But the workers are on better terms and conditions than those employed directly by Doncaster council.

Council bosses now want to “freeze” their pay at the point they’re transferred, meaning they would lose out on future local government pay awards. Union activists are feeling confident workers will deliver a strong vote to strike since members’ meetings show an appetite to fight these brutal attacks.

Latchmere cleaners shake up bosses

Cleaning workers at the Latchmere Leisure Centre in south London are demanding better pay. The members of the UVW union, who are migrant workers from Bolivia in south America, want at least £12 an hour. On Thursday last week, workers issued notice of intention to ballot for a 30 percent pay rise. The very next day bosses asked workers not to strike and invited the UVW union to negotiate instead. 

Workers are also demanding better statutory sick pay and for their union of choice to be recognised by their employer. Cleaner, Juan Jimenez Yanez said, “We, the workers of Latchmere Leisure Centre, are almost on the minimum wage, and we are asking for a pay rise. We want the London Living Wage, and we ask for the support of all our fellow workers to support us in our cause.” 

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