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Homerton hospital workers protest over job cut threat from private firm

PUBLISHED: 12:16 05 August 2016 | UPDATED: 17:44 05 August 2016

Workers at Homerton University Hospital protest proposed cuts. (Picture: Polly Hancock).

Workers at Homerton University Hospital protest proposed cuts. (Picture: Polly Hancock).

Archant

Hospital workers took to the street to protest against planned cuts that could see dozens of cleaners, security guards and catering staff lose their jobs.

Jordan Rivera, joint Unison branch sec. (Picture: Polly Hancock).Jordan Rivera, joint Unison branch sec. (Picture: Polly Hancock).

ISS, the private company that took over the services from the NHS in November, has announced it needs to “re-evaluate” how they are run.

The staff say they have been told 89 out of 300 of them could be made redundant and others could have their hours cut.

Jordan Rivera, Unison branch secretary for the hospital, slammed the plans and questioned why the company can no longer run the service on a budget it said it could less than a year ago, when it won the contract.

“Everyone is really concerned,” she told the Gazette. “The largest staff group is the domestic cleaners so you’d think most of the cuts will be there. That is such an essential area and staff already tell us they don’t have enough time to do their jobs.

“The staff already work really hard, and if this happens the work they will be expected to do will be the same.”

Standing side by side with the workers today was Helen Matcham. The 77-year-old campaigner is a member of Hackney Keep Our NHS Public and said the whole group was upset over the news.

She said: “I really don’t see how a hospital can manage with fewer cleaners, you would think it was a health risk especially given the scares in the past about MRSA.

“I have been a patient at Homerton and had very good treatment from the domestic staff. The hospital when you go in is very clean.”

Helen believes the move is a result of government policy to sell off the NHS, and said she would be fighting the cuts every step of the way.

A spokesman for ISS said the structure of the service needed to be addressed to meet the needs of the trust and support patients.

He said: “The company is in talks with Unison, who represent their employees at the hospital, and through discussion hope to achieve change through consultation and agreement.

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