Wythenshawe Sodexo staff win NHS pay rates

Moves toward industrial action ballot see Manchester hospital’s facility staff welcome in the new year with a pay boost

Facilities workers at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester have got their new year off to a pleasant start with news of a pay rise, backdated to last April.

The UNISON members provide key services such as cleaning, catering and portering, which are outsourced to private company Sodexo.

The company has been paying these workers the NHS rate for their job since a successful UNISON campaign in 2007 – but had not implemented the NHS Pay Framework Agreement agreed nationally last summer.

The pay deal ended years of pay freezes and pay caps and was very significant for low-wage workers in the NHS.

It is worth between 6.5% and 25.5% over three years, and means that the lowest paid NHS staff should now have a minimum rate of £8.93 per hour.

But at the start of the year – after UNISON started preparations to ballot members over the possibility of taking industrial action – Sodexo agreed to implement the pay agreement in full, with back pay from April 2018.

UNISON branch secretary Wendy Guest called the decision “very welcome”, adding: “It shows the way for other employers to follow and it will make a bid difference to low-wage workers at Wythenshawe Hospital.”

She added: “NHS pay rates are the proper rates for the job and all hospital workers should receive them.”