Operational services staff have a contractual right to learning and development, Peter Smith told health conference delegates in Brighton, but he reported that access to training was being denied.
On top of that, he said, employers are attempting to use staff to do work that should be done by higher banded staff.
He urged conference to campaign to ensure that support staff get their “fair share of the pie.”
Lilian Macer from Lanarkshire health branch said that administrative staff are a hugely undervalued staff group.
She praised the Scottish educational pathways project begun in July 2015, which shows the qualification members of staff can undertake.
One delegate said: “As a band two records clerk, I can tell you how much training I’ve gone on over the years…
“Training is getting worse and worse.”
He reported that managers were even setting up staff to do training online at home and unpaid.
George Barron reported that he could give an example of the importance of training for cleaning staff: “I’ve been hobbling around with an infection for the past six years because of an infection from an operation.”
He urged delegates to speak up for training for ancillary, admin and clerical workers.
Delegates spoke up for the union’s One Team campaign, which aims to stand up for all health workers and show that there’s no such thing as ‘back office staff’ when it comes to running the NHS.