Devon healthcare workers balloted for strike action in row over NHS pay deal

“These dedicated staff keep NHS services running in Devon.”

North Devon District Hospital.

Hundreds of the lowest-paid workers at North Devon District Hospital are being balloted for strike action after being denied a pay rise worth at least £1,655, says UNISON today (Friday).

An industrial action ballot will open on Tuesday 2 January and could see strike action take place during February half term.

The health staff, who work for private contractor Sodexo, should be treated fairly and given the same money as colleagues directly employed by the NHS, the union says.

In June, a deal was agreed for staff on NHS contracts (and the Agenda for Change pay scales), which included a one-off payment for 2022/23.

Sodexo is refusing to honour this for its workers in Devon. UNISON says this means the firm’s employees will earn far less than their NHS colleagues doing similar work.

UNISON workplace representative Nick Moore said: “These dedicated staff keep NHS services running in Devon. Without them, local hospitals would grind to a halt.

“They deserve recognition for their work, which is every bit as important as that of their NHS colleagues. That means being paid fairly.

“Put simply, Sodexo should pay up. All its employees are asking for is to be given the same as health staff working for the NHS.

“The lump sum would make a great difference to them all. It would also make financial sense for Sodexo. Giving staff the extra cash would stop many currently thinking of leaving from quitting the firm for good.”