Login Register

Hospital staff ready to strike

ANCILLARY staff at the Countess of Chester Hospital have voted for strike action.

ANCILLARY staff at the Countess of Chester Hospital have voted for strike action.

Porters, drivers and domestics employed by contractor Compass Medirest are calling for a new deal on pay and conditions.

Transport & General Workers' Union (GWU) spokesman Mick Cashman said: 'We balloted our members last week and more than 90% were in favour of industrial action. As a result 160 members will be going on strike if we can't reach an agreement with the contracting company.

'It has been a long-running dispute and stems from workers doing exactly the same jobs for different rates of pay. In some cases there is a pay difference of 60p per hour.

'And because pay is so poor, it means there is quite a high-turnover of staff, particularly on evening shifts.'

He added: 'We are asking for pay parity and if the matter is not resolved our members will begin a series of short strikes.

'I will be contacting Medirest within the next few days to notify them of our actions.

'We believe we are striking for a just cause and are confident we will have the support of the local people.'

Medirest spokeswoman Lesley Potter said the number of staff who voted for strike action was not 160, as stated by Mr Cashman, but 85.

She added: 'A number of issues originally raised by the TGWU on behalf of its members have now been addressed and Medirest has now made an improved offer to staff in terms of pay.

'The company is currently awaiting a response from the union following its consultation with members.'

Hospital spokeswoman Lorna Jones said: 'The staff concerned are employed by Medirest who are currently waiting to be informed of developments by TGWU. It will then be up to Medirest to notify the hospital.'


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
Contact Us
Full contact details