The NHS workforce is one team and all staff in hospitals should be paid the NHS rate for the job. But in too many hospitals, that is not the case.
Staff working in roles such as cleaners, catering staff, security staff and porters all play an important part in the patient experience of a hospital and in providing quality care. But staff are sometimes employed by outsourced companies who do not pay staff the NHS pay rates. The gap between the minimum wage rate and the lowest NHS rate is more than £1 an hour, which means that some low-paid hospital workers are losing more than £2,000 a year, with that gap growing over time.
This is not fair and workers are challenging it and winning.
In Bolton, employees of the wholly-owned subsidiary company iFM won the NHS rates after two days of strike action.
Other trusts and outsourcing companies are coming under pressure to address this unfairness by UNISON. Workers at Wythenshawe Hospital won their campaign to get the nationally agreed NHS pay rise.
At Liverpool Women's Hospital, staff employed by the private company OCS are taking strike action for pay fairness.
Ensuring that hospital workers receive the correct NHS rate for the job that they do will remain a priority for the union.