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Security guards to strike over poor pay at Southampton General Hospital

SECURITY guards at Southampton general hospital will strike over poor pay and demands for the right equipment to defend themselves from violent attacks in the A&E department.

Unite has said that 21 of their members who work for the agency Mitie will be striking eight times from April to June, with the first strike to begin on April 5.

They are demanding a pay rise from £8.64 an hour to £10.50.

The members are also angry that Mitie refuses to give them personal protection equipment, such as stab vests and restraints.

The workers face regular attacks from patients, with drug, alcohol and mental health issues but claim that the company does not give them adequate help in dealing with these situations.

Unite is also calling for a reform of their sick pay system.

Currently, if the hospital’s security guards are hurt at work they are given two weeks full pay and then two weeks half-pay while they recuperate.

Workers say that this forces them to return early due to fears of falling into debt.

Unite south-east lead health officer Scott Kemp said: “The lack of urgency on Mitie’s part to resolve these personal protection issues at the Tremona Road site is a disgrace – that’s why our members voted unanimously for eight days of strike action.”

A spokesperson for Southampton general hospital said: “We have engaged with Mitie to ask the firm about its plans to resolve this dispute and […] will continue to liaise with it on these issues.”

Mitie has been contacted for comment.

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