Barts Health cleaners call for Covid ‘thank you’ payment at Westminster protest

The workers were employed by outsourced company Serco during the pandemic, and Barts NHS Trust says they do not qualify for the payment

Barts Health facilities staff at the protest today, Credit: Unite

Around 100 Barts Health facilities staff took to the streets of Westminster to call on Barts Health NHS Trust to pay them a lump “thank you” payment for working during the pandemic. 

During the pandemic the staff worked for outsourced company, Serco, before transferring back into the NHS just after the imposed deadline for staff to receive the payment. Unite, their representative union, says that NHS bosses have rejected their demands and have turned down requests to go to the Treasury for additional funding to cover the payment.

Cleaners, porters, security staff, domestics and other facilities staff are currently taking part in industrial action in their campaign to receive the lump sum payment, worth over £1600, that Barts Health is refusing to pay. 

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According to Unite, staff brought mops and buckets to Westminster calling on Rishi Sunak, chancellor Jeremy Hunt and health secretary Victoria Atkins to “clean up their mess” and give workers a fair wage. Earlier this month hundreds of Unite members employed via the East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust, secured the payment of the Covid lump sum after taking industrial action.

Credit: Unite the Union

Unite regional officer Tabusam Ahmed said: “Our members perform essential roles in the NHS and fully deserve to receive the Covid payment in line with their fellow NHS workers.”    

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham added: “These workers do some of the toughest jobs for the lowest wages in the NHS. Yet the government continues to stick its fingers in its ears over paying up. They have seen workers at other trusts rightly win this pay award and they will keep fighting until the government does the right thing and pays up.” 

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