Photo: Iain Dalton
Photo: Iain Dalton

Iain Dalton, Socialist Party Yorkshire regional secretary

Workers contracted to the ISS agency, organised by the GMB union, held their second protest in recent weeks over low pay outside Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax on 9 April.

The domestics, cleaners, security staff, porters and other ancillary workers employed by ISS earn only the minimum wage, which, until its recent uplift, was £1.28 an hour less than those in identical roles directly contracted by the NHS, with no weekend enhancements and lower rates of night-shift premiums.

Around 30 joined the protest, the majority ISS workers along with other supportive staff, GMB officers, health campaigners and local trade unionists. Regional news ITV Calendar and the Daily Mirror covered the protest.

Lee, an ISS-employed security officer at the hospital, told us: “We know that people doing the same jobs at other hospitals are being paid more, we just want to be on the same level as them and get fair pay. The campaign is going really well, we’ve gone from practically nothing a few months ago, to this stage where we’ve really picked up momentum.”

The GMB has vowed to continue organising protests, and drive up union membership among ISS workers, until the trust either brings the workers back in-house, or ensures these workers have the same pay, terms and conditions as NHS employees.

Emails in support of those demands can be sent to [email protected] and headed “For the attention of Brendan Brown, CHFT Chief Executive”.