NHS outsourced workers at Kings George and Queens Hospitals in East London will receive the London living wage, effective from April 2020.
The pay increase, negotiated by GMB Union, will benefit 600 outsourced staff at Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trusts, who will see their hourly pay rise from £8.21 to £10.75. This is an increase of £2.54 per hour.
Cleaners, porters and catering staff employed by Sodexo and Interserve, who are working among the front-line staff during the current Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, will see an annual rise of up to £4,953 per year.
The London living wage is currently £1.45 more per hour than the UK living wage which is currently set at £9.30. The living wage is a voluntary minimum level calculated every year to meet the real cost of living, separate from the legal minimum wage, currently set at £8.21.
Lola McEvoy, regional officer for health at GMB, said: ” GMB London welcomes this decision after a long-running campaign by the union to secure the end of the two-tier workforce in the NHS.
“GMB welcomes that the decision was rushed through by the trust in recognition of the scale of the Coronavirus challenge faced by direct and outsourced staff.
“This commitment is recognition of the vital role our members at King Georges and Queens Hospitals do all year round to keep our NHS running.
“During the current Coronavirus crisis, it provides some good news for the cleaners, porters and all the other outsourced staff who are so often forgotten. Coronavirus has put the daily reality facing our members in the spotlight; without them the NHS would not be able to function.
“We will continue to campaign for all outsourced workers across the NHS to get decent sick pay, a real living wage, and to be brought back in house.
“This is as part of the long-standing demand from GMB for parity for outsourced cleaners, caterers and porters at the trust. All those who provide vital NHS services should be brought back in-house so they are paid the same and receive the same terms and conditions as the directly employed staff.”
Tony Chambers, interim chief executive at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “I am delighted that we will be introducing this and providing that extra bit of help for these workers. They are absolutely key to keeping our hospitals running efficiently, and provide a huge amount of support to our staff and patients.
“We are responding to a long-standing request from our unions and I’m glad that we’re able to implement it now, to show recognition for those, who, along with the rest of our staff, are going above and beyond to keep our patients safe while we deal with Covid-19.”
Stuart Winters, chief executive of healthcare at Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted that our frontline colleagues will benefit from the London Living Wage following the Trust’s decision. We have worked in partnership with the Trust for a number of years.
“Our hardworking dedicated teams feel very much part of the wider Trust team providing essential services which contribute to providing patients, visitors and families with the best experience and clinical outcomes.”