Domestics and Porters at Tameside Hospital are due to be transferred from private contractor Mitie into NHS employment on 7th July, but 39 of the workers are currently being paid minimum wage, less than their colleagues who are on terms and conditions which reflect the NHS ‘Agenda for Change’ (A4C) agreement.
These 39 staff are not only being paid a lower hourly rate, but are being provided with less annual leave and have no access to occupational sick pay if they fall ill and are unable to attend work.
Tameside NHS FT had previously provided a commitment on 8th June that they would implement Agenda for Change terms and conditions for all transferring domestics and porters, if the majority expressed that they would like the pay uplift in a ballot. However, just over a week later they changed their position, stating that they were no longer in a position to harmonise conditions and gave no timescale for the implementation of A4C contracts.
This means that staff are being paid different rates for the same work, less than their colleagues in many other hospitals in Greater Manchester and may face a situation where some staff are being paid less than newly employed staff, after the transfer.
UNISON believes this is fundamentally unfair and is stepping up its campaign for fair pay for all domestics and porters. We are now in formal dispute with Tameside NHS Foundation Trust and are considering all options available, including potentially a ballot for industrial action if necessary, to ensure staff are treated fairly.
“We the undersigned call on Tameside Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to play fair and pay proper NHS Agenda for Change rates of pay for its hard working cleaners and porters.
It is unfair that many cleaning and portering staff at Tameside are paid significantly less than their colleagues at a number of other NHS Trusts in Greater Manchester, especially when these staff also receive no occupational sick pay if they are unwell, and get fewer holidays than their colleagues.
The staff who keep our hospitals clean and moving deserve dignity and a fair deal at work.”