Nearly 200 Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) at East Cheshire NHS Foundation Trust and over 400 Clinical Support Workers at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust submitted a collective grievance last week after coming together in UNISON to demand fair pay for delivering clinical care.
At Macclesfield Hospital, a group of over 30 health workers presented the grievance in-person to Trust Chief Executive Ged Murphy and a group of senior executives before the Trust’s Board meeting and called for back-pay and the re-banding of their jobs to reflect the clinical work they do. While at Wirral, over 80 CSWs presented the grievance in-person to Trust CEO Janelle Holme.
The staff at both trusts are currently paid at Band 2. Band 2 staff should only undertake personal care, such as supporting patients with toileting, bathing and feeding, and are paid up to £1,800 a year less than the Band 3 rate.
However over 600 Band 2 staff across the trusts completed a survey circulated by their trade union UNISON, and the results show that most staff are regularly and routinely doing clinical duties, including patient observations, venepuncture and urinalysis.
Furthermore, the survey also showed that most staff have been doing clinical duties for many years whilst only paid as a Band 2. This means that dedicated and hard-working staff have missed out on thousands of pounds in pay over the years.
As a result of workers coming together in UNISON elsewhere, six health trusts across the North West have acknowledged that they need more Band 3 staff. These trusts have all moved many Band 2 staff onto the higher rate, with paid staff back-pay to April 2018.
The health workers called on the Chief Executives to pledge that Band 2 staff would not be treated any worse with regards to re-banding and back-pay than their colleagues at other trusts in the region which have signed up to the UNISON campaign and agreement. Both CEOs refused to sign the pledge, in contrast to recent pledges from CEOs at Mid-Cheshire and Northern Care Alliance trusts.
Band 2 HCAs resolved to continue the UNISON campaign and have launched a petition of their colleagues to support a re-banding claim.