Luton and Dunstable Hospital’s outsourced cleaners have secured the same pay as their NHS colleagues.
According to unions Unison and GMB, when a new cleaning, catering and housekeeping contract begins in November, the workers – many paid the minimum wage – will enjoy full NHS pay of at least £9.21 an hour, as well as any nationally agreed future rises.
Staff have also won improved annual leave and sick pay entitlements.
Staff overwhelmingly backed the deal, which will come into effect when the current service provider Engie’s contract ends in November.
The trust is currently picking the next private firm to run its cleaning, catering and housekeeping contract but all workers will be guaranteed NHS pay rates.
Shane Hall, Unison’s regional organiser, said: “This is brilliant news for some of the lowest-paid workers at Luton and Dunstable. After a hard-fought campaign, they’ll end up with much more money in their pockets.”
Hilda Tavolara, GMB London’s regional organiser, said: “This is the recognition our members deserve for the role they play for the patients day by day and during the pandemic, ensuring that the hospital is cleaned and patients are provided with meals.”
Cathy Jones, deputy chief executive of Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, commented: “We are immensely proud of all our hard-working colleagues who support us in providing care for our patients.
“We are really pleased that in planning the transfer to a new cleaning and catering contract, we’ve been able to secure equivalent pay for non-NHS staff who provide these essential services to the Luton & Dunstable hospital site.
“We have worked closely with Unison and GMB colleagues to ensure that staff working under this contract are recognised with the same pay as NHS colleagues with whom they work.”
Engie was approached for comment by Facilitate.