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13 October 2003

Southern General porters' deal lifts strike threat

Porters at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital, who are members of Public Service union UNISON, have lifted the threat of strike action.

The members are employed by private contractor Mitie Olscot, and were due to go on strike on Wednesday 15 October. But by voting to accept an pay and conditions offer they have settled a year-long dispute.

The offer means the start of a return to terms and conditions similar to in-house staff for the workers who were previously dubbed 'the worst off in the NHS'.

The private contract is one of the last still in operation in the NHS in Scotland. As from 1 October staff will now be entitled to

* a maximum of 25 days annual leave after 10 years service

* 4 months sick pay

* increased responsibility payments for charge hands

UNISON Regional Organiser, Matt McLaughlin said, "Our members welcome this offer and are pleased that they have reached an amicable solution without having to resort to disrupting services within the Trust. In particular the introduction of a sick pay scheme that progresses towards the full NHS scheme is a significant step in the right direction. It's not about giving folk the right to go off sick, its about supporting people and making sure that if they take seriously ill they can still afford to live whilst taking the time to recuperate fully."

The agreement comes on the back of an earlier agreement to introduce a minimum wage of £5.18 from £4.26, ensuring the porters are paid the same as other in-house staff elsewhere in the NHS in Scotland.


For Further Information Please Contact: Matt McLaughlin (Regional Organiser) 0845 355 0845(w) 07946 339036(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)