“An essential part of the NHS team…”: Outsourced staff at Prospect Park Hospital strike

Some of the lowest-paid staff at Prospect Park Hospital in Reading are taking strike action in a dispute about pay. The strike is over their employer ISS’s refusal to pay the workers a lump sum worth at least £1,655, which has already been given to hundreds of thousands of people employed directly by the NHS.

Cleaners, caterers, security guards and porters are among the striking staff employed by private contractor ISS, which is refusing to honour the one-off payment.

In June 2023, a deal was agreed for all staff on NHS contracts and Agenda for Change pay scales. This included a one-off payment for 2022/23 of at least £1,655.

However, ISS is refusing to pay up, which has resulted in ISS employees earning far less than their colleagues directly employed by the NHS and doing similar work.

Further action is also due to take place on Monday 4 March, Friday 8 March, Wednesday 13 March, and Thursday 14 March.

UNISON South East regional organiser Patrick Kenny said: “Staff care deeply about patients and services. The last thing they want to do is strike, but ISS has forced them into this situation.

“They are an essential part of the NHS team, delivering outstanding services for patients, and deserve to be paid the same as other NHS staff for the vital work they do.

“ISS can stop the strike action and end the dispute in an instant if it pays the lump sum its staff deserve.”