Hundreds of hospital workers strike at Mansfield and Ashfield hospitals

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Hundreds of hospital workers, such as porters, cleaners, security staff, catering workers, and reception teams, are striking this week across Mansfield and Ashfield hospitals.

Members of the GMB union initiated a week-long strike against private contractors at three of Nottinghamshire’s largest hospitals, including King's Mill Hospital, Sutton, and Mansfield Community Hospital.

The workers, who are employed by Medirest, a private contractor within Nottinghamshire’s Sherwood Forest Hospital Trust, are dissatisfied with the company's refusal to align their terms and conditions with those of their colleagues directly employed by the NHS.

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Tensions escalated after NHS employees received a COVID recovery bonus payment, which striking Medirest workers said was “not extended” to staff at the hospitals employed by the company.

Cameron Mitchell with striking workers.Cameron Mitchell with striking workers.
Cameron Mitchell with striking workers.

Cameron Mitchell, GMB organiser, said: “After a week on downing tools at three of Nottinghamshire’s biggest hospitals, workers are more determined than ever to get they pay and recognition they deserve.

“It’s a disgrace that these workers still haven’t been rewarded with the Covid recovery bonus their NHS employed colleagues rightly received.

“Medirest employed staff worked through the pandemic, keeping local people safe, so why do they deserve any less?

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“It’s time for Medirest to get back around the table and give these workers what they deserve”.

Image shared by GMB Midlands (Facebook).Image shared by GMB Midlands (Facebook).
Image shared by GMB Midlands (Facebook).

Medirest employees went out on strike on Monday, July 8 – with the strike continuing until Saturday, July 13.

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A spokesperson for Medirest said: “It’s disappointing that GMB is continuing to proceed with further industrial action.

“We highly value the work of our employees serving the NHS.

“All of our employees at NHS sites received a pay uplift last year and have access to a range of employee benefits.

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“We are pleased to confirm that those employees that are eligible for the covid bonus payment have now received it.

“However, we recognise it’s disappointing that this doesn’t cover all our employees.

“The eligibility criteria has been set by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

“We continue to maintain regular dialogue with our people, the unions, and NHS trusts with a shared interest in ensuring the highest standards in delivery to this vital sector.

“In partnership with the trust, we have put in place contingency measures to limit any disruption to services for patients and NHS staff.”

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