Royal London Hospital picket line. Photo: Hugo Pierre
Royal London Hospital picket line. Photo: Hugo Pierre

Len Hockey, Barts NHS Trust Unite branch secretary

Domestics, porters, catering staff and more are continuing strike action at Barts Health Trust, across five hospitals in east London. Unite members are fighting over pay, including for a lump-sum payment that was paid to some but not others when we transferred from private company Serco back to the NHS last year, following a victorious strike campaign.

Another element to the dispute is safe staffing, which is obviously linked with pay. Unite is conducting a broader campaign on this issue. Unite London and Eastern Health is organising a special conference on 2 December for reps.

In this dispute we’ve pushed Barts management into discussion. The Trust is entering into discussion on safe staffing in specific areas, including the maternity labour ward at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and pathology services across the East London and South East London Pathology Partnership (an ‘arms’ length’ organisation), of which Barts is the central hub.

This campaign is linked up with recruitment to the union.

The current two weeks of strike action, following strikes in September and October, concludes on Friday 17 November, with a demo at Royal London.