Fact Service April 2014

Issue 14

Union victory ends two-tier pay at NHS trust

Strike action by 150 GMB members employed by Compass (Medirest) at Ealing NHS Hospital Trust, London has been called off after members won a new offer ending a two-tier pay structure. The workers are employed as domestic, catering, porters and help desk staff.

The offer accepted by the workers sees a 15.8% increase in the hourly rate from £6.31 to £7.31 an hour, effective from 1 April, along with two additional days’ leave. From April 2015 there will be harmonisation of pay rates across the trust, which should deliver an hourly rate of between £9.10 and £9.30 an hour

Workers taken on by Compass after the work was outsourced were offered worse terms and conditions than comparable NHS staff or those transferred under TUPE to the contract. This had led to a two-tier workforce as Compass did not pay NHS pay rates or conditions, with a 44% pay gap between the £6.31 an hour paid by Compass and the lowest comparable NHS rate in London of £9.10 an hour.

GMB regional organiser Stella George-Duesbury said the key to success was increasing and mobilising membership at the hospital

“There were six GMB member 18 months ago,” she said. “The number now exceeds 150. This gave the members the ability and confidence to negotiate and eventually win this dispute. We are sure the remaining employees will now see the benefit of joining GMB, a strong and campaigning union.”