Sheffield NHS workers on minimum wage stage walkout over pay rise dispute

Struggling catering staff from a Sheffield hospital staged a walkout today over a pay dispute.

They were united under trade union Unison, standing against a nationally agreed NHS pay rise which they believe they have been denied.

Protestors were waving flags and asking passing traffic to beep in support of their cause, chanting “no sausage, chips, or beans here.”

Unison regional operations officer, Sue Cookman, was among those on strike outside the Doncaster hospital.

Ms Cookman said: “The pay rise means about £1000 a year extra for the workers. All of us are struggling – we are low paid workers. The reason the government put extra money into funding the NHS is because these workers without it would essentially be on minimum wage.

“The problem is, when the government funded this pay rise they ignored the fact that many NHS jobs have been privatised by big public companies who are using loopholes to avoid paying the workers.”

The workers’ jobs transferred from the NHS to a multi-national French catering company Sodexo, who refuse to grant them the pay rise. In 2017 they won a 10-year contract to provide catering and retail services for Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS foundation trust.

The nationally agreed pay rise came into effect for NHS staff last July.