Unite has become the latest union to call for independent sector staff working on NHS contracts to be given the same pay increase as has just been agreed for health service employees.
All but the highest paid NHS staff in England are due to receive a pay rise worth 6.5% over the next three years, after members of 13 unions agreed to accept the deal unveiled in March by negotiators.
“Excluding indirectly employed NHS workers from the new pay deal is unjust”
But Unite said today that thousands of healthcare workers, many of whom were low paid, had been excluded from the deal because they were “indirectly” employed by the NHS.
It has written to employers providing NHS services, including Serco, ISS, Compass and Sodexo to urge them to implement the NHS pay framework as a minimum to aid recruitment and retention.
Outsourced service providers are due to meet with the Department of Health tomorrow to discuss pay for workers indirectly employed by the NHS, according to Unite.
In May, the Royal College of Nursing said it had written to the government calling for the pay deal to be extended to those working in social care, the private sector and primary care.
- Pay deal must be extended to ‘all sectors providing NHS services’
- NHS nurse pay set to rise by 6.5% over three years under new deal
- Majority of nursing union members vote to accept NHS pay deal
It warned that the deal must be extended beyond staff directly employed by the NHS under Agenda for Change in order to avoid a “dangerous imbalance” between sectors that was harming patients.
Staff employed by Serco at Barts NHS Trust are currently campaigning to reverse the private contractor’s refusal to fund a pay rise that mirrors the pay deal being offered to NHS employees.
Pay restraint for NHS nurses set to continue to 2020
Unite national officer Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “Excluding indirectly employed NHS workers from the new pay deal is unjust.
“It will be a disaster for morale with thousands of low paid NHS workers being made to feel like the poor relations of NHS employees,” he said.
“Regardless of whether an NHS worker is employed by a private company or the NHS, they are still health workers and their contribution to patient’s health must be recognised,” he added.
The NHS deal, revealed by negotiators on 21 March, will mean at least a 6.5% increase for most NHS staff over three years, plus incremental hikes for some.