More than 1,500 people have signed a petition calling for the security staff at Royal Berkshire Hospital to ‘be paid fairly’.

Twenty security staff, who are employed by Kingdom Services Group, have been taking strike action since mid-December and are currently planning to strike until March 7.

Unite the Union say they are seeking a pay increase to £12 an hour for security officers and £13 an hour for security supervisors but, so far, the bosses have refused to budge from an offer which would see security officers on £9.30 an hour and supervisors on £10 an hour.

READ MORE: Royal Berks Hospital security staff go on strike in pay battle vs Kingdom

Unite says Kingdom refuses to engage in meaningful talks and the profit margins on the contract are “unacceptably generous”.

Security staff on strike in December outside RBH

Security staff on strike in December outside RBH

Labour councillors in Reading have spoken out in support of the staff.

Councillor Graeme Hoskin said: “This is an issue that shames the outsourced company that employs these hard-working key workers.

“They really have been on the front line throughout the pandemic dealing with all the security issues that have faced the hospital.”

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Councillors Rachel Eden, Paul Gittings, and Tony Jones have also expressed their support for the workers.

On the petition, which has been signed by 1,538 people and calls for a wage staff can live on, Unite state: “Our members don’t want to strike, particularly not in the middle of a global pandemic.

“They just want a wage they can live on, but Kingdom management’s refusal to engage in meaningful talks over the 2020 pay award, harmonisation of sick pay, as well as enhanced pay for working nights, weekends and overtime has left them with no other option.”

Kingdom Services Group said it does not wish to comment in relation to ongoing industrial relations discussions.