Cumbria Crack

UNISON: ‘Fresh Cumberland Infirmary strike action if progress is not made’

Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle

A union representing workers involved in a strike at the Cumberland Infirmary say further dates of action will be announced if progress is not made in the near future.

More than 150 porters, cleaners, switchboard and catering staff at the Cumberland Infirmary were on strike on Friday and yesterday. 

The strike followed failed talks about a pay dispute involving trade unions UNISON and GMB, Mitie and North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust last week.

The Mitie-employed staff have voted to strike after claims of missing payments and staff working unsocial hours.

Mitie claims it already pays its employees time and a half or double time for overtime hours (i.e. anything beyond contracted hours).

However, staff say they should be entitled to a separate ‘unsocial hours payment’, which is a separate contractual term. It is a banded system and is a percentage of hourly rate, depending on the time and day.

UNISON say that no further strike dates have been arranged to allow for the opportunity for further talks to take place.

“But it’s fair to say that progress is not made in the near future then further strike dates will be announced,” a spokesman for the union said.