HEALTH care bosses across South Yorkshire have been accused of “putting a dampener” on the Royal wedding - by refusing to pay workers on duty on April 29 the Bank Holiday rate they would normally receive.
Staff at health trusts across the region who have to work to ensure services are still available will only get a day off in lieu, rather than the extra rate they are paid on the eight other public holidays throughout the year.
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The sum varies according to the employee’s salary band, but ranges from double time to time plus 60 per cent.
Health chiefs at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - which runs the Northern General, Royal Hallamshire, Weston Park, Jessop Wing and Charles Clifford hospitals - as well as bosses at Rotherham Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which runs Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Bassetlaw Hospital, have all decided not to pay the extra rate.
Workers at Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust and the Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust - responsible for providing residential care for people with dementia, mental health problems and substance misusers - will also receive nothing extra.
The trusts say the date does not have to be treated as a Bank Holiday under the Agenda for Change terms and conditions staff work to.
But employees at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will be paid the Bank Holiday rate as a “goodwill” gesture for their hard work during the adverse weather last winter, and staff at Sheffield Children’s Hospital will also receive the extra payment.
Council workers and police officers on duty - as well as civilian police staff who work overtime - will also receive the extra rate.
Pat Pepper, regional organiser for the Unite union, said: “A Bank Holiday shift deserves a Bank Holiday rate.
“These will be frontline staff working at a time when the nation can look at a happy event. The Royal wedding is a chance for people to escape the depression and economic uncertainty for a while and enjoy the occasion. But decisions like this put a dampener on things.”
A spokeswoman for Rotherham Hospital, where the same arrangements will be in place for the Queen’s Jubilee in June 2012, said: “The trust appreciates the desire for staff to join the rest of the country in celebrating these significant events, but the continuation of services for patients remains a priority.
“It is also likely the vast majority of patients will want to participate in these celebrations and will be less likely to visit the hospital on an elective basis.”
A spokeswoman for Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “The NHS is facing a very challenging financial climate and employers are looking for arrangements that help them meet that challenge, while also protecting jobs and continuity of services for patients.”
A spokesman for Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust added: “Wherever possible managers will be asked to look sympathetically at any requests for leave on April 29.”
A Barnsley Hospital spokeswoman said: “We made the decision to pay the Bank Holiday rate in early January, as a thank you for incredible hard work over the extreme winter period when the hospital was at its busiest ever.”