Homerton Hospital workers secure living wage and sick pay victory

But outsourced staff still have much to right for, says UNISON

Homerton Hospital’s cleaners, porters and security staff will be paid the London living wage and NHS sick pay “from day one” of a renewed, five-year contract with facilities firm ISS.

However, hospital workers will still not get NHS equivalents for their wages, pensions, overtime or annual leave.

Since December 2019, UNISON has been running a campaign alongside GMB to persuade hospital chiefs to bring the outsourced services back in-house, ensuring parity for the lowest-paid key workers.

UNISON organiser Michael Etheridge told the Hackney Gazette: “While this is far short of equality and what our members deserve, we will celebrate sick pay as a big victory.”

Concerns had been raised during the COVID-19 pandemic that, with over half of the workforce only entitled to statutory sick pay and unable to afford time off, staff were potentially coming into work while ill and infecting patients.