Health workers in Grinch protest

Unite members enlist Grinch's help to deliver signed Xmas card to health secretary

Reading time: 3 min

A Grinch delivered a signed Christmas card to Victoria Atkins MP, Secretary of State for Health, earlier this week (December 18) to highlight the issues NHS staff are facing.

Unite members from the Barts Health NHS Trust in East London, members working for Together Support Solutions (2SS)  a wholly owned subsidiary of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and members employed by contractor Mitie based at Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust in the West Midlands  protested outside the Department of Health.

Unite members at all three trusts are currently taking industrial action in frustration, concern and anger over pay and safe staffing levels.

The workers principal dispute and the reason for their strike action is due to the failure of their employers to pay them the lump sum payment of £1,650 that their colleagues working alongside them on NHS Agenda for Change terms and conditions received in June.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “It beggars belief that in the run up to Christmas the department for health is still behaving like Scrooge and refusing to pay the money our members are owed. Clapping for NHS workers doesn’t put food on the table or presents under the tree and the secretary of state needs to get the message that our members won’t stand for it.”

You can view highlights from the protest in photos below:

Text by David Carnell

Photos by Mark Thomas