Pay rise victory for privatised NHS workers

Catering workers at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have won their pay battle after two days of strike action, says UNISON.

Their employer Sodexo had previously refused to give its workers the same pay rise as the one agreed last year for health staff directly employed by the NHS.

But after two days of industrial action, which began on Wednesday and had been due to continue throughout this month, Sodexo has reached an agreement to pay the NHS pay deal in full.

Around 70 staff, predominantly women, were transferred from the trust to the private company in January 2017, a move which cost workers around £1,000 a year as their pay lagged behind.

UNISON regional organiser Sue Cookman said: “We need to agree some finer details with Sodexo, but I am delighted that an agreement has been reached.

“This is down to the sheer determination of these workers and shows what can be achieved when they stand together to fight for what they are owed.

“The energy and enthusiasm on the picket lines at Montagu and Bassetlaw hospitals, and Doncaster Royal Infirmary has been amazing, and the support from the public has been heartwarming.

“These are NHS workers through and through, and their commitment to the NHS is unwavering, no matter who employs them.

“The government needs to properly fund the NHS pay deal for all health service workers, including those who have been outsourced.”

Notes to editors
– The agreement was a coordinated effort by UNISON and GMB.
– The dispute in Doncaster follows a number of successful strikes organised by UNISON involving cleaners, catering staff, porters and security guards employed by contractor OCS at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. They won their campaign to receive the NHS Agenda For Change rate for the job earlier this month.

Media contact
Sue Cookman M: 07944 119645 E:
Anthony Barnes T: 020 7121 5255 M: 07834 864794 E: