WORKERS at Croydon Hospital are staging a protest on January 31st to demand Covid sick pay.
Porters and cleaners at the south London hospital are angry after their employer – private NHS contractor G4S – stopped paying Covid-positive hospital workers’ occupational sick pay.
This means staff are forced to come into the hospital with symptoms of Covid because they cannot afford to take time off to self-isolate.
The protest will take place outside Croydon University Hospital, 530 London Road CR7 7YE at 12 noon.
GMB organiser Helen O’Connor said: ‘Our hard-working members are sick and tired of being abused and exploited by G4S. They are on poverty pay and to add insult to injury they are being denied wages if they come down with Covid.
‘These members have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic at great risk to themselves and their families and they are demanding fair sick pay so that they do not put patients at risk from cross infection.
‘If G4S is not willing to ensure that their staff and patients are as safe as possible during a pandemic they cannot continue to hold the contract.
‘We are now calling on Croydon NHS trust to take this contract back in-house and pay these workers the sick pay they need and deserve.’
- Every eligible 16 and 17-year-old will be able to book their vital booster jab online from today as the fastest and most successful vaccination programme in NHS history continues to expand.
Around 40,000 teens will be eligible for their top-up dose when the national booking service opens to them on Monday, with more able to get boosted in the coming weeks as they reach three months since their second jab.
Invites will be sent out this week encouraging people in this group to book their appointment through the online booking service, calling 119, or by finding their nearest walk-in site as soon as they can.
Since the vaccination programme rolled out to this age group in August, more than 889,700 teens – seven in 10 people aged 16 and 17 – have had their first dose.
More than 600,000 in this age group have had their second jab.
Previously, boosters were only recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) for clinically vulnerable 16 and 17-year-olds who are most at risk from Covid-19.
Recent data from the UK Health Security Agency showed that two doses of the vaccine are not enough to stop people becoming unwell from Omicron, but a booster significantly increases protection against the variant.
Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and Deputy Lead for the NHS Vaccination Programme, said yesterday: ‘The NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Programme is expanding once again to offer eligible young people aged 16 and 17 the chance to book their boosters through the online booking service from tomorrow, with walk-in sites also available across the country, as the biggest and fastest vaccine drive in health service history continues at pace.’