Sheffield staff ‘forced into’ pay change

Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital

Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital

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Some of Sheffield’s lowest-paid hospital workers are being ‘forced’ into taking a monthly rather than weekly wage in a bid to cut costs.

Just over 100 staff, mainly porters and cleaners, at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, face the prospect of being dismissed and then re-hired on new contracts unless they accept the changes, the trade union Unison says.

The trust - which runs the Northern General and Royal Hallamshire hospitals - believes the measure will save thousands every year, as the affected workers are now its only staff paid weekly, and a consultation has been launched.

But Unison regional organiser Charlie Carruth said: “This is quite appalling treatment for a group of loyal workers, many fairly lowly-paid.

“For many, budgeting by the week on lower pay is a lot easier. We have asked the trust to leave this group alone and let the matter resolve itself, as the saving is peanuts, but so far they have been adamant it will happen.”

Mr Carruth said the move will save £30,000 annually.

But a spokeswoman for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals said: “None of the staff affected are at risk of losing their job or any earnings. The only change to their contract would be the change in pay frequency.

“None of their other terms or conditions would be affected, and we would offer financial planning support and staged pay.

“While we understand that some people may prefer to stay on weekly pay, we have a duty to use taxpayers’ money as efficiently as possible. Running two pay systems does not do that.”

She added: “Of the 15,000 people who work for the trust, more than 14,000 are already paid monthly. Earlier this year we asked the remaining staff to move voluntarily to monthly pay to help us make this saving.

“Support was offered, and as a result over 900 chose to have monthly pay. The majority managed without difficulty, and if the proposal to remove weekly pay goes ahead we will of course offer support to the remaining 100 staff affected.”