Unison has reported that the majority of those employed by third-party contractors as a result of the tendering of hospital services to private companies were not affected by the settlement and many haven’t seen a wage increase in ten years.
Affected workers include cleaners, porters, security guards and catering staff and Unison report that the pay divide between publicly and privately employed staff is leading to retention issues that have a negative impact on patient care.
The union’s Head of Health, Sara Gorton, said: “Staff employed by private contractors are expected to deliver the same exceptional levels of service and also work under immense pressure. It’s only fair they receive the same pay as colleagues, often doing identical jobs but employed by the NHS.
“With ministers all-consumed by Brexit, the growing crisis in hospitals across the land is being ignored. The government found the money to fund the pay rise for health staff, now it must do the same for those on private contracts.
“A failure to do so risks damaging the health service beyond repair as firms can’t attract or hold on to the staff needed to provide a decent service to the NHS.”
Unison are calling for the government to ensure that everyone works for the NHS earns at least £9.03 an hour.