WATCH- 'We've been head butted, spat at, racially abused' - Why hospital security staff are going on strike:
SCOTT KEMP is the regional UNITE officer.
Security staff at Southampton General Hospital have gone on strike for 24 hours in a row over pay and equipment.
Members of the Unite union walked out at midnight after allegations that security staff are being attacked on a regular basis by members of the public either under the influence of drink or drugs or with mental health problems.
They've demanded that their employer, Mitie, should supply them with stab vests and a pay increase.
Mitie says it's made offers to try and end the dispute and is working to make sure that the hospital has adequate cover.
“Sadly, Unite was unwilling to listen to our offer or enter to constructive conversations. We have offered a substantial percentage increase to £9.00 an hour for our public facing staff equating to a 9% rise in the last 7 months, since September 2018. We had already agreed a further 2% increase for this coming February, this will total an 11% increase in 18 months.
More days of strike action have been planned for 19 April and 24 May along with a 48 hour stoppage, starting on 3 May and a further 72 hour strike on 7 June.
Unite says and an overtime ban will also commence on 5 April.
“The Acas talks broke down as the Mitie management failed to provide sufficient guarantees about the introduction of the vital protective equipment we have repeatedly requested.