Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton hospital cleaners finish two-day strike

Union members outside the hospital with placards
Image caption The hospital said high-risk clinical areas were cleaned throughout the strike

Cleaning staff at Southampton General Hospital have ended a two-day walkout over a pay dispute.

The strike, which began on Wednesday, saw about 240 cleaners at the hospital take industrial action in a row over a deal struck up in 2006.

Further action has not been ruled out by public sector union Unison which is to meet with health chiefs in January.

The hospital said high-risk clinical areas were cleaned throughout the 48-hour walk out, which ended at 1000 GMT.

Workers went on strike claiming they were owed backdated pay.

The hospital has maintained an agreement would not come into force until April.

'Bit of mess'

During the strike workers staged a picket line outside the hospital.

Andy Straker, regional organiser for Unison said further talks would take place on 11 January.

"We would be hopeful that they have now taken us and our members seriously and they are going to come and make us an offer.

"If they don't then we would have to consider further action on future dates in January.

"I think it had a real effect on the hospital, our members are saying there's a fair bit of mess for them to clear up."

Steve McManus, chief operating officer at hospital, added: "The plans we put in place to minimise disruption worked effectively and the hospital continued to meet its high standards of cleanliness in all clinical areas throughout the 48-hour strike period."

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