Barts Health cleaners, porters, security guards and domestic staff to be brought in-house | Latest news

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Barts Health cleaners, porters, security guards and domestic staff to be brought in-house

Hundreds of cleaners, porters, security guards and domestic staff working at the Barts Health group of hospitals are to benefit from NHS pay, terms and conditions

  • Almost 1,800 staff will be transferred across to join the existing 17,000 Barts Health staff as NHS employees under the Agenda for Change (AfC) conditions
  • Detailed work will commence to bring all "soft facilities management" services in-house from 1 May 2023.

Hundreds of cleaners, porters, security guards, and domestic staff working at the Barts Health group of hospitals are to benefit from NHS pay, terms and conditions.

This follows a decision by the Trust Board yesterday to bring the services they provide back in-house when the current contract with Serco expires next year.

Almost 1,800 staff will be transferred across to join the existing 17,000 Barts Health staff as NHS employees under Agenda for Change (AfC) conditions. This will improve their pay prospects, currently based on the Trust’s commitment to the London Living Wage.

Serco won the contract in a competitive tender in 2017 but recently served notice that it would exercise its right to terminate early, at the end of April 2023.

The Trust engaged with trade unions and other stakeholders to explore alternative options. The Board and its finance and investment committee agreed to pursue one that was both financially advantageous but would also improve the quality of service, be flexible in response to demand, and maximise engagement with staff.

Shane Degaris, deputy group chief executive, said: “Our porters, cleaners, security guards, catering staff, ward hosts and domestic staff are the lifeblood of our hospitals and clinical colleagues could not do their vital work without them.

“We have always considered contracted employees to be part of our wider Barts Health family. However as we developed our WeBelong inclusion strategy to end racial discrimination, we realised that the Trust had a responsibility to take practical steps to include all our employees, including the lowest-paid.”

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: "After extensive campaigning, it’s great that cleaners, receptionists, porters, catering and security staff and others at Barts Health will be employed directly by the NHS again.

"These staff kept our hospitals running at the height of the pandemic. They're the heart of the NHS, and they deserve to be treated as such.

“It’s a welcome move that the trust has done the right thing and brought staff back in house."

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: "Unite has struck a landmark agreement with one of the UK's largest NHS trusts to end the two-tier workforce. Unite members and their representatives have shown impressive determination and resilience to reach this negotiated settlement. The workers are exposed to the same risks as NHS-employed staff, so it's only right for them to be treated equally and brought back into NHS employment.

"The pandemic has put the treatment of NHS workers into the spotlight. Unite will be ramping up the pressure on other trusts because they can no longer look away."

UNISON regional organiser Pam Okuns-Edokpayi said​: “This is a fantastic result for a group of staff who ​fully deserve to be fully part of the NHS again.

“​UNISON is proud of the deal we negotiated, ​but it wouldn't have been possible without the support of our members ​at Barts. Thanks to them, we're the largest and most effective union in the NHS.

“This means ​being ​able to deliver on the issues that matter ​like bringing this contract back in house.”

Unite regional officer Tabusam Ahmed said: "It was clear from Unite's dispute with Serco that the inequality and pay disparity that our members faced needed to be addressed. The Trust board has now confirmed that the mainly Black, Asian and ethnic minority staff will be brought in-house and transferred on to Agenda for Change terms and conditions from day one. The agreement negotiated between Unite and Barts Health is a significant step forward. The workers have tirelessly campaigned and their solidarity has paid off. Barts Health has set an example which other NHS trusts should follow."

We will now commence detailed work to bring all so-called “soft facilities management” services in-house from 1 May 2023 and will work with trade unions and staff representatives to secure a smooth transition that enables staff to be brought on to AfC conditions as soon as reasonably practicable.

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  1. Dave Putson Thursday, 3 March 2022 at 12:41 PM

    Fantastic result for these workers, excellent solution for the NHS, and brilliant stuff from UNITE.

  2. Tim Martin Thursday, 3 March 2022 at 01:29 PM

    Really pleased about this. Good decision from Barts and well done UNITE and all SERCO employees

  3. Jamila Akhtar Thursday, 3 March 2022 at 02:05 PM

    These hard workers are exposed to the same risks as NHS-employed staff, so it's only right for them to be treated equally and brought back into NHS employment.
    It is very wise step and these worker need to be nominated and rewarded as Star of the month/ year.

  4. Mandy Robinson Thursday, 3 March 2022 at 03:00 PM

    Well done to Barts let's hope it will be the same for other trusts, especially London.

  5. Julia Miller Thursday, 3 March 2022 at 03:35 PM

    Unison have also been part of this negotiation with the Trust. Staffside have been meeting with Mark Bagnall since last year, which led to support of
    in-housing.
    Unison Barts Health Branches applaud this decision by the Trust and look forward to welcoming our Soft FM colleagues and members back next year.
    Julia, Branch Secretary, Unison Barts and the London Branch.

  6. Damian Owen Thursday, 3 March 2022 at 03:49 PM

    A pity they were farmed out to the private sector in the first place. I wonder if the ruinously expensive Public Private Finance scheme will come under scrutiny next...

  7. Tracey Thursday, 3 March 2022 at 04:41 PM

    It's a great idea

  8. Nadia Audhali Thursday, 3 March 2022 at 06:19 PM

    What great news. Glad we will all be one team together. I'm sure it will result in improved team work. So happy the Trust has made this decision.

  9. Tony O'Sullivan Thursday, 3 March 2022 at 08:31 PM

    Congratulations to the 1800 staff justly winning the right to be back in the NHS. Well done Barts in doing the right thing and well done Unite. A great day

  10. Rhonda Forbes Friday, 4 March 2022 at 01:41 AM

    An excellent move! Well done to all those who have worked on both sides to affect this change.

  11. Louise Winterbottom Friday, 4 March 2022 at 08:54 AM

    This is great news. We have seen over the last two years the vital role these workers play in keeping our hospitals running and safe for all of us. It is good to know that the important roles these colleagues carry out will be acknowledged in the form of job security, pay, terms and conditions of service.

  12. Rohit Tiwari Friday, 4 March 2022 at 09:24 AM

    This is a great news. I congratulate the management for taking this step.
    Rohit
    Chief Technologist Nuclear Medicine/PET CT

  13. Immunology Friday, 4 March 2022 at 10:45 AM

    The work should not have gone to tender in the first place. It should have remained within the NHS and proper managers should have been employed

  14. Kevin Lawrence Friday, 4 March 2022 at 12:01 PM

    A long time coming,very pleased for all concerned.

  15. Sazeda Patel Friday, 4 March 2022 at 06:00 PM

    Thankyou also to Unison for doing the negotiations
    Your talent and effort is appreciated

  16. Ossie Ali Monday, 7 March 2022 at 10:12 AM

    This is great news that nearly 1800 staff will be coming back into the NHS family. I do hope that job security, pay, terms and conditions of service will be a massive improvement all round.
    I feel that after 20 odd years this will also be a good result for Barts Health NHS Trust. I'm also glad to see our Unions and our Trust Management working together for the greater good.

  17. Z alan hadid Monday, 7 March 2022 at 05:16 PM

    What about Linen & Laundry staff? Theres only 30 of them across the site, why are they being abandoned, no mention of them whatsoever.

  18. Samantha Girling Wednesday, 9 March 2022 at 07:01 AM

    Great news!!!
    Welcome back to the nhs Facilities family.

  19. Cheenee Contreras Friday, 11 March 2022 at 10:25 AM

    Yay! Well done NHS!

  20. Robert B. Friday, 11 March 2022 at 08:48 PM

    this is nice, however, from 10am to 2pm, most of the domestics are not doing anything anymore. Either i see them on their phone, SLEEPING in the locker rooms or team rooms. there is this one guy i always encounter in mens locker room near 9F on his phone all day and I can't imagine him getting paid just like that all day. Also there is another domestic guy who are sleeping almost all day in the tea room close to 9F too. and yet you will see the locker room piled up with scrubs and tissues on the floors.