Addenbrooke's Hospital cleaners protest over 'pay cut'

Cleaners at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge have staged a protest over shift pattern changes that they claim could result in a 21% pay cut.

The Unison union said 45 employees of cleaning contractor Medirest would lose money under a deal the company had agreed with the hospital.

Medirest, which cleans clinics and operating theatres, said the agreement was in line with NHS "efficiencies".

Unison said about 30 people protested outside the hospital.

The union said workers paid between £13,000 and £15,000 a year would lose money by being prevented from working "unsocial hours".

"Medirest won the contract by claiming they could do the work for £600,000 less than in previous years," said a spokesman.

'Increase efficiencies'

"It aims to recover half of this money by procurement changes and the other half by cutting the wages of its workers.

"By altering the start and finish times of evening shifts workers will lose unsocial hours payments. Medirest's own figures show this will be an average pay cut of 21%."

Medirest refused to comment on details of its contract with the hospital.

A company spokeswoman said: "We are committed to maintaining high levels of safety and quality at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

"We also understand that, like all NHS Trusts, they are required to increase efficiencies and this consultation forms part of our ongoing commitment to help them achieve this.

"We have been engaging fully with our employees and the unions throughout this consultation and are naturally disappointed that Unison has planned this protest."

A spokesman for Addenbrooke's Hospital said it would work to "ensure high standards of cleanliness and hygiene are maintained".

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