Margaret Greenwood MP and Mick Whitley MP have visited Arrowe Park Hospital to show their support for Clinical Support Workers who are on strike over pay.
The strike action covers around 500 Clinical Support Workers who are employed by Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) NHS Foundation Trust at both Arrowe Park Hospital and Clatterbridge Hospital.
Their union, Unison, has said that the Clinical Support Workers have been routinely undertaking duties above their pay band for years. Staff are paid to deliver personal care, yet they have been required to carry out clinical duties too.
Unison has come to agreements with several NHS trusts across the North West over higher rates of pay for such workers, including back-pay to April 2018. However, they have not yet been able to reach an agreement with Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) NHS Foundation Trust, which has made an offer for consideration of any re-grading to go back to December 2022.
Earlier this week, Margaret Greenwood MP was joined by Birkenhead MP Mick Whitley, as well as a host of local councillors, in writing to WUTH to urge it to find a resolution to the dispute as a matter of urgency.
Speaking after visiting the Clinical Support Workers, Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood said, “I was pleased to be able to join Clinical Support Workers at Arrowe Park Hospital to show my support for their campaign for fair pay and back-pay that reflects the reality of the jobs that they have been doing.
“These are incredibly important members of NHS staff who work with dedication to support people when they are at their most vulnerable.
“Many staff are being paid at Band 2 for providing personal care, but are in fact also undertaking clinical tasks which should be on Band 3 such as taking bloods, inserting cannulas and carrying out ECGs. The extra responsibilities that they take on should be recognised and they should be paid for them.
“It is clear from the turnout on the picket line and by the show of support from vehicles passing by that these workers have the backing of the local community.
“I am calling on Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to engage constructively with them and Unison and seek to bring about a swift resolution to this dispute.”
Birkenhead MP Mick Whitley said, “It was great to join the Unison picket line at Arrowe Park Hospital on Thursday morning.
“I believe every Labour MP should be standing on the picket lines supporting workers when they are on strike. Labour is the party of the trade unions and that means standing alongside the unions when they are in struggle.
“And this struggle by the Clinical Support Workers could not be more just. They are paid below the right band. They carry out work that is vital to the NHS, vital for the health of our communities, but they are underpaid for doing it.
“Not only should such a scandal end now – but they should be paid the back-pay to April 2018. Unison is quite right to insist on this.”
Image: Margaret Greenwood MP (R) with a group of Clinical Support Workers on the picket line outside Arrowe Park Hospital