Leicester’s healthcare assistants demand fair pay deal

Healthcare assistants at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust are calling for the recognition and pay they deserve, as concerns grow about staff leaving for better paying jobs, says UNISON.

According to the union, healthcare assistants should be on an NHS salary band 3 if they undertake clinical tasks such as observations, venepuncture, wound management and urinalysis. UNISON estimates that regrading could mean around £2,000 extra per year for the vast majority of healthcare assistants, who are currently paid a band 2.

Last week, healthcare assistants from Leicester Royal Infirmary, Glenfield Hospital and Leicester General Hospital delivered a pay claim signed by nearly 750 staff to the chief executive’s office.

UNISON East Midlands head of health Gareth Eales said: ““Personal care is a key aspect of the healthcare support worker role, but it’s undeniable that in many cases significant numbers of staff are taking on more responsibilities than ever before.

“NHS nursing shortages mean that many healthcare support staff have been working above their pay grade for years. This historic pay injustice must be rectified. It is simply shocking that these low-paid staff should even has to ask for their work to paid at the right rate”.

Healthcare assistant and UNISON member Katarzyna Krzysztofik said: “Support staff love the work they do and always try to deliver exceptional care. However, for too long healthcare assistants across the NHS have been expected daily to perform patient care tasks they are not paid for on a daily basis. That is not right or fair.

“There are pay bands in the health service for a reason. These low-paid staff have had enough and are demanding the pay, reward and recognition they deserve.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

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