Some NHS temporary staff say they have not received the lump sum part of the government pay deal, worth at least £1,655.
The BBC reports that the issue is affecting bank staff, who work extra shifts to provide cover for hospital trusts to fill rota gaps. Some health workers work only for the bank, taking whatever shifts are offered, and some of these have found they did not qualify for the one-off payment, even though all their work is for the NHS.
Under the new pay agreement, the government said all eligible staff on the Agenda for Change contract will receive two one-off awards, worth at least £1,655 for full-time staff.
Bank staff are not employed on the national Agenda for Change contract other nurses and healthcare staff fall under. Some bank workers are paid the same rates as staff at the same employer, with some holiday and sick pay. But others, in exchange for flexibility over hours, can be paid more per hour though without the same employment protection.
Unite says the government should extend funding made available for trusts to make the payments to staff, to allow them to include bank workers. General secretary Sharon Graham said:
“The cynical ploy of saying that NHS bank staff – or any other NHS staff – should get a pay increase on the one hand, but then refuse to fund it on the other, is yet another case of ministers robbing Peter to pay Paul.
“Telling local trusts that they must find cash out of existing funds means one thing and one thing only – more cuts to a health service already on its knees. More cuts means more overworked and demoralised staff walking away and on it goes.”
The NHS Confederation has called on ministers to intervene, warning there is a danger of a two-tier system being created.