19th Aug, 2019

Demonstration against staff pay delays at Coventry's University Hospital

Felix Nobes 13th May, 2019

A DEMONSTRATION has taken place outside Coventry’s University Hospital against pay delays for staff.

Private sector support services firm ISS employs hospital caterers, porters, security and other low-paid workers.

It has conceded that a change to its payroll system will mean many workers will have to endure working in arrears during a ‘challenging period’.

Union Unite says some have not been paid for more than a week with scores turning out during working hours to protest at the gates of University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) last Thursday (May 9).

The firm says no money will be withheld from employees but there will be pay delays.

It also says interest-free loans will be offered to support workers during the transition period to the new pay system – which it says will be better for workers in the long run.

Zoe Mayou regional officer for Unite said: “ISS has changed its payroll system and is now withholding payment from staff.

“A multi-million pound company withholding pay from some of our lowest paid workers. It’s just not on.

“There has been misinformation that Unite has agreed to this nationally, we have not.

“It’s been imposed. And we will fight against ISS about this and any future changes to the detriment of our members here.”

National officer for Unite in Health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe added: “I am here in Coventry today to support our ISS workers, officers, officials and staff in backing our campaign to make sure that ISS pay up and give the one week’s arrears money back to the hardworking members of our union and their staff.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable. We will make sure that there is justice for workers.

“But most of all we want to make sure the NHS means the NHS and we will restore NHS services – whatever they may be – back into the public sector.

“Making sure the NHS cannot be used as a vehicle for profit and globalised earnings.”

A spokesperson from ISS said: “Changing any payroll system and process has its challenges.

“This change will affect every ISS employee nationally and we are implementing a focused and comprehensive communications plan to ensure that all our people are aware of the change, understand how it will impact them personally, and that they seek the support ISS is offering to help them through the change.

“The new fortnightly pay cycle will be administered by working 11 days in arrears.

“Our current pay cycles pay between five and nine days in arrears.

“We are aware therefore that the first month of change will result in our people waiting longer for their pay than they currently do and we appreciate the concern employees may have.

“We are therefore offering all impacted employees interest-free loans to help smooth the wait and to ensure that individuals have the financial support they need.”

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