Outsourced workers win fight to rejoin NHS

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has agreed to bring 1,000 outsourced workers back into State employment after three decades of employment by private contractors.

7 Feb 2020| News

Following union action, including strikes led by the United Voices of thw World (UVW) and negotiations by both UVW and Unison, the Trust agreed on January 29 2020 to end the outsourcing of cleaners, caterers and porters to private contractors including Sodexo and ISS, promising to in-house the workers within two months.

“This is a victory for fairness and common sense,” Unison General Secretary, Dave Prentis, said.

“Thousands of workers and their families will be able to sleep a little easier, knowing they’ll be paid more fairly and treated more humanely when they are back in the NHS.”

Petros Elia, UVW co-founder, said this successful outcome “marks a huge victory not just for these brave workers, but for all outsourced workers in the NHS”.

“This victory sets a historic precedent which we hope other workers will follow in demanding an end to outsourcing across the NHS,” he added.

Affected workers will now be paid £11.28, up from £10.55 under their current employer Sodexo; and receive sick pay from the first day they are ill as well as an NHS pension.

“That such a major trust has accepted our arguments and put staff and patient welfare first is a major breakthrough,” Debbie Eakins, Unison’s Greater London Regional Organiser, said.

She promised the union “will continue to work with trust managers to make the case for bringing all outsourced staff back into the NHS as soon as possible”.

Please note, this article originally incorrectly cited the United Voices of the World union as leading on negotiations. Members of the UVW went on strike for equality with their NHS-employed peers, negotiations were also carried out by Unison.