170 doctors at Homerton University Hospital have written to Trust CEO Tracey Fletcher in support of their outsourced colleagues. UNISON has been campaigning for cleaners, porters, security and catering staff to be brought back in-house. The Trust recently announced its intention to sign a new five-year contract with global outsourcing giant ISS. But doctors have called on management to rethink the deal, citing the poorer working terms and conditions compared to NHS staff.
They wrote: “We have been proud to work alongside colleagues in cleaning, portering, catering and security services during the Covid-19 pandemic. They have gone above and beyond in their commitment and hard work, just as NHS staff have. Their work is invaluable to the care we offer our patients. Without these colleagues, our hospital would run poorly.
Despite all of us being invested in trust values, these employees work in the trust but by being employed through ISS they receive worse pay and worse terms and conditions, including only statutory sick pay. It is therefore disappointing and deeply troubling that the trust has decided to extend this contract and these inequalities for a further 5 years.”
Controversially, the trust has cited the uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic as a reason for the new contract. UNISON is demanding that parity of terms and conditions with NHS staff be included in any new contract.