On the picket line at Wirral last week (Picture: @NorthWestUNISON twitter)

Clinical support workers (CSWs) on the Wirral, Merseyside, have won a fantastic victory in their long running battle to be paid properly for the work they do.

The 600 Unison union members are among the lowest paid in the NHS.

They wanted their jobs re- evaluated to reflect the clinical work they do in addition to washing, dressing and feeding patients.

That would mean going from NHS band 2 to band 3— and a pay rise of up to £2,000 a year.

Most NHS trust bosses have now accepted that CSWs have been underpaid for years.

But some, including those at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, dug in and refused to backdate the workers’ claim to 2018.

But after 61 days of strikes since August last year, bosses have caved in.

Workers at Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge hospitals met last week and voted to accept the new offer.

It will lead to a big payout and better pay and pensions in the future.

Clatterbridge Hospital CSW Nikki said she and her colleagues were “over the moon”.

“We’re the lowest paid workers in the NHS but for years we’ve been plugging the gaps across the service,” she said.

“Without our work, patients wouldn’t receive the care they deserve. But for too long we haven’t been paid properly for it.”

The Wirral victory should spur-on the many other hospitals—and the win on backdating the claim to 2018, must now become the benchmark for all those disputes.

More than 1,000 healthcare assistants at North Tees and Hartlepool and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust walked out on a 72-hour strike on Monday in yet another banding dispute.

It’s the workers’ second set of strikes and Unison said the action would not stop “until justice is done”.

Bosses there have agreed to move the workers to the higher paid band 3 but want to limit back pay to July 2021. North East Unison has been arguing for backpay to 2019.

Border Force strike delayed at Heathrow

PCS union officials have suspended strikes by 600 Border Force officers who were set to walk out at Heathrow airport this week.

They had planned to strike from Thursday until Sunday but the union has suspended the strike in an attempt to seek further negotiations.

Retreating like this gives ground to the employer and can demobilise members who were ready to go on strike.

Good stats for the civil service strike

In a ballot that closed on Sunday last week, PCS union members at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) voted by 73 percent to strike.

Their dispute is over the imposed policy of a 40 percent return to the office.

The legal turnout threshold of 50 percent under the anti-union laws was just reached by the 600 workers voting.


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