Dudley NHS staff gain Mitie victory

Private contractor gets funding from government to pay non-medical staff the COVID bonus

A group of Mitie workers with Christina McAnea on a visit to UNISON Centre

More than 300 hospital workers in Dudley represented by UNISON are celebrating victory after their employer, Mitie, committed to paying the lump sum COVID bonus due to them at the end of last week.

The one-off payment is worth at least £1,655 for full-time health workers, including porters, domestics, sterile services and catering staff working in the NHS.

Mitie applied for funding for the pay deal from the Department of Health and Social Care and has written to UNISON to say that its application for funding had been successful.

Staff had taken three days of strike action over the company’s previous refusal to honour the payment, already given to health workers employed directly by the NHS in June.

The sum was part of a deal agreed for all staff on NHS contracts and Agenda for Change pay scales, but Mitie said it could not afford to pay up.

UNISON has now called off further strike dates due to take place today and on Wednesday.

UNISON West Midlands regional organiser Ollie Hopkins said: “This is a victory for the hundreds of low-paid health workers employed by Mitie in Dudley.

“They worked through the pandemic in the most challenging conditions imaginable. It is only right they receive the same COVID bonus payment as directly employed NHS staff.

“Workers took the tough decision to make a stand and show their strength of feeling. The high-profile strike action created pressure that focused the minds of Mitie executives and has ended the dispute.

“But Mitie generates huge profits and had the ability to pay its staff all along. It could have easily avoided this strike.

“UNISON and Unite have called off further action. Mitie must now get this money into the pockets of its workers immediately.”