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Last Updated: Friday, 18 July, 2003, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Hospital staff strike ends
Unison members picket outside Royal Bolton Hospital
The union had claimed there was a "two-tier" pay system
A deal has been struck to end a long-running pay dispute at a hospital in Greater Manchester.

About 150 workers at the Royal Bolton Hospital have voted to accept a new offer from their employer - private cleaning firm ISS Mediclean.

It means porters and cleaners will see their hourly pay rise to 5, an increase of nearly 8%.

Steve Stott, from the union Unison, says the offer means their industrial action will come to an end.

They have taken strike action on a total of 12 days, including a three-day stoppage earlier this week.

ISS Mediclean said it is "looking forward to a return to the high standards of cleaning and service usually enjoyed at the hospital".
We've made a giant stride towards parity
Steve Stott, Unison

The union had claimed there was a two-tier system of pay for the workers at the hospital, with non-ISS Mediclean staff being paid more to do the same work.

Mt Stott said: "The deal offers an opportunity for low-paid workers to increase their rates of pay considerably.

"In that sense, it's a good deal.

"They have still not got parity with staff directly employed by the NHS, but we've made a giant stride towards parity and we anticipate further negotiations."

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