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GMB Yorkshire hospital strike off after massive pay win for workers

23 Jul 2021
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Porters, cleaners and caterers at Airedale Hospital will now get the same pay as their colleagues

A strike involving more than 150 NHS workers has been officially called off after a massive win for outsourced NHS workers.

Porters, cleaners and caterers at Airedale Hospital, in Steeton, were due to walk out in a dispute over pay.

Cleaning, catering and portering services at the hospital were outsourced to a wholly owned subsidiary – AGH Solutions – in 2018.

Knowing you get paid less for the same work than some of your mates in the same job, especially when you have two kids to care for, is gut-wrenching. This deal means a lot to me.

Blake Cooper, Porter at the Hospital

Staff transferred at the time have kept their NHS pay, terms and conditions – but any new starters are now paid on lower AGH solutions rates for doing the same job.

Industrial action was called off after the NHS trust intervened and pledged to increase the funding available to ensure an end to the two-tier workforce.

The GMB victory means the workers will see their pay significantly increase from the date of the agreement - with the hourly pay for the majority of workers will going up from £9.00 per hour to £9.77 per hour this year, aligning fully with the NHS Band 2 hourly rates of pay by next year.

Blake Cooper, Porter at the Hospital, said:

“For those of us on the lower pay, it felt as if we were second class citizens in our own place of work, like the hospital thought we were worth less and that we didn’t matter.

“Knowing you get paid less for the same work than some of your mates in the same job, especially when you have two kids to care for, is gut-wrenching. This deal means a lot to me.

“I'm proud of how we came together in GMB, how we organised, how we supported one another and that together we won this deal.”

image of GMB nurses holding banner over road

Sheffield nurses banner protest

Rachel Dix, GMB Organiser, said:

“The strength and resolve of members at Airedale has been tremendous.

This win represents another GMB victory against the erosion of pay, terms and conditions for NHS workers outsourced by local trusts.

Rachel Dix, GMB Organiser

“For months, AGH Solutions offered proposals without alignment, and throughout those months members held fast, rejecting the insulting offers because they knew they could win better - and they did.

“This win represents another GMB victory against the erosion of pay, terms and conditions for NHS workers outsourced by local trusts.

“We will continue to fightback, win these victories and together "we shall not be moved."

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