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HOSPITAL CLEANERS DEMAND EQUAL PAY; Women take trust to tribunal.

Byline: KIRSTI ADAIR

MORE than 100 female cleaners have accused a hospital trust of sex discrimination after they were denied bonus pay offered to porters.

Domestic staff from hospitals and clinics across Wirral are taking Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust to an employment tribunal claiming they are not receiving equal pay.

Unions have backed their fight.

Collette Williams, 54, who supervises domestic staff at Victoria Central hospital, Wallasey, said: ``We fall into the same category of worker as the porters, but they get bonus pay and we don't.

``They do similar work and there is no reason we shouldn't be rewarded in the same way. It is a shame we have to fight for it. ''

Mother-of-two Dee Morton from Wallasey has worked at VCH for eight years. She said: ``We work very hard for our money and deserve to be treated with more respect. Under the national terms and conditions we should be on the same level as porters. ''

TGWU representative David Laird said the pay fight would affect domestic staff in St Catherine's hospital, Birkenhead, Ashton House hospital, Birkenhead, Victoria Central hospital, Wallasey and clinics across Wirral and Cheshire.

He said: ``It is a sad fact that women workers are still not being paid the same as men. ''

Marion Needham, director of human resources for the NHS trust said: ``It would be inappropriate for us to comment on this case as it is subject to the outcome of an employment tribunal. ''

The tribunal will be heard in Liverpool on December 16 and 17.

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CAMPAIGN: Cleaners demonstrate after accusing the NHS trust of sex discrimination
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 17, 2004
Words:268
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