Tens of thousands of NHS workers are struggling due to very low wages, with many only earning just over £16,000 a year
Around 100,000 NHS workers are struggling to make ends meet on minimum wage, according to The Guardian.
Cleaners, security guards, catering staff and porters are allegedly being treated as “second-class employees” thank to a growing pay divide between public and private sector workers.
The problem is that their private sector employers aren’t matching public sector pay rises, meaning they are missing out on an income boost of around £2,000.
In the Observer, Torsten Bell, director of the Resolution Foundation, said that “adding up all the new tax and benefit changes for the year equals an average £280 income boost for the richest fifth of households, but a £100 reduction for the poorest fifth.
“This year’s income tax cuts are bumper ones for higher earners. If you earn £30,000 you’ll be £73 better off, but make that £327 for those of you on £60,000 – over four times as much. Our lowest 40% of earners will gain precisely zero.”
The lowest-paid NHS workers should have been given a £2,000 pay rise last year, but the majority of them haven’t received a penny of that thanks to being on private contracts – according to healthcare union, Unison.
Said union has called on the government to end the pay divide and ensure everyone who works for the NHS is paid at least £9.03 per hour.
Many are currently on minimum wage, making their annual salary just over £16,000.
“All hospital workers are part of the NHS team and should be paid fairly for the important jobs they do,” said Sara Gorton, Unison’s head of health. “The days of treating them as second-class employees must end.”