CAMPAIGNERS are calling on the Tower Hamlets public to come along to the Barts NHS Trust AGM next Wednesday and support the people who clean our local hospitals.
Cleaning hospitals is not just a case of prettying up the surroundings. It’s a vital part of keeping everyone well and free from the causes of infection – and it’s hard work for little reward.
Last winter, our local Health Trust – Barts Health – gave the cleaning contract for our hospitals to a multinational company called SERCO. Campaigners say that since that happened the working conditions for the cleaners have become worse – making the job even harder.
The cleaning staff have been taking strike action for some time, asking their giant employer to pay them at extra 25p per hour – that’s a 2.5% wage increase. They are being supported by their trade union, UNITE. So far, the giant company has refused to find what to them is a tiny amount of money to pay the cleaners the extra money that would mean so much to them and which they deserve.
Fortunately the Barts cleaners have the support of many other healthworkers and health service users across East London. They are supported by Tower Hamlets Keep our NHS Public (KONP) as well as the North East London Save Our NHS campaign (NELSON).
Barts Health is holding its AGM next Wednesday, and the campaigners are calling on members of the public to come and lobby the meeting in support of the cleaners’ case. Just because Barts Health has taken on SERCO to do the cleaning doesn’t mean that Barts can ignore the consequences of what it has done.
The NHS is under great strain at the moment after years of under-funding from the Coalition and Tory Governments. Campaigners feel that the more we let slide, the more services and certainties we will lose – so we have to fight every battle to turn back the tide and save our NHS. They are appealing to all local NHS users and potential users to come out on Wednesday and stand up for the cleaners and the NHS.
Lobby Barts Health AGM: Solidarity with Barts strikers
The Old Town Hall, 29 Stratford Broadway, E15 4BQ
Wednesday, 13th September
5.30pm: lobby the AGM
6.00pm: AGM starts (it is open to the public)