Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton hospital security staff accept pay deal

Hospital picket line
Image caption Mitie Security workers carried out two strikes outside Southampton General Hospital

Security staff at Southampton General Hospital have accepted a new pay offer after a series of strikes over safety, money and sick leave conditions.

The 21 security workers staged two strikes in April but suspended further action to vote on a deal negotiated with employer Mitie Security Ltd.

The Unite union claimed they were regularly attacked by members of the public in the A&E department.

The new deal includes a 14.5% pay increase and three months of sick pay.

Security staff carried out two days of strike action on 5 and 19 April over pay, what they claimed was a lack of protective equipment, and inadequate payments for staff injured at work.

'Important victory'

Unite said the new package included an increased hourly rate of £9.50 for security officers and £10.50 for supervisors, backdated to 1 May, and three months of full pay, followed by three months of half-pay when members are injured at work.

Mitie said it had invested in body-worn cameras, safety gauntlets and gloves, wrist restraints and new body-worn protection, which were all in the process of being introduced.

A spokesperson said: "Following revisions to our previous offer of an already significant pay rise for staff working at Southampton General Hospital, we are pleased that Unite members have now accepted this increase."

Scott Kemp, Unite lead officer, said: "We regard this as an important victory which demonstrates the strong solidarity shown by our members during this long-running dispute and also, more widely, the support they received from the local community."

In a statement, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust said: "We are pleased the dispute between Unite and Mitie has now been resolved.

"[We] would like to thank security officers for their continued professionalism in their work and Mitie for ensuring its service was maintained appropriately during the periods of strike action."

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