On Air Now
Heart's Feel Good Weekend with Zoe Hardman 9am - 12pm
17 April 2019, 15:12
Hospital security staff are to stage a strike on Good Friday in a dispute over pay and safety.
Members of Unite employed by Mitie Security at Southampton General Hospital also plan further walkouts in the coming weeks.
They say they face regular attacks by members of the public under the influence of drink or drugs, and need better protective equipment such as stab vests.
Unite official Scott Kemp said some progress had been made in talks with the company, but not enough to call off Friday's stoppage.
A Mitie spokesman said: "We have offered a further pay increase to £9.50 per hour for all public facing staff.
"This equates to a 14.5% increase in the last seven months.
"We had already agreed a further 2% increase for this coming February, this will total a 16.5% increase in 18 months.
"In addition, we have offered four weeks full sick pay and four weeks half pay for injuries sustained whilst at work, which is double the time currently offered.
"Unfortunately, Unite has chosen to reject this offer.
"Ensuring the safety of patients and members of the public visiting the hospital remains paramount.
"During the strike action, we have arranged for a fully trained team of officers with relevant experience to provide cover onsite to maintain a usual level of service."