SECURITY staff at Southampton General Hospital are going on strike on Good Friday due to regular attacks in the A&E departments.
The 21 employees say they are being attacked on a regular basis by members of the public either under the influence of drink or drugs, or with mental health problems and that there has been a lack of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as stab vests and safety restraints.
Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today that talks yesterday with the employer Mitie Security Ltd made progress, but not sufficient for the strike to be called off.
Unite lead officer for health in the south east Scott Kemp said: ‘We had talks with Mitie yesterday and some progress was made, but it was not sufficient for our members to suspend their Good Friday strike.’
‘The company has increased its offer to £9.50 an hour, but our members are seeking £10.50 for security officers and £12.16 for supervisors for what is generally acknowledged to be a stressful and, on occasions, dangerous job.
‘The company made no new offer on unsocial hours payments for weekend working and there was also no increase in sick pay forthcoming.’
The security staff voted unanimously for strike action and industrial action short of a strike.
A 48 hour stoppage starting on May 3, a 24 hour strike on May 24 and a further 72 hour strike on June 7 are scheduled.