About 50 maintenance staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have accepted an inflation-busting 4.5 per cent pay increase for 2020-2021.

Unite the union, which represents the majority of the electricians and plumbers working on the outsourced Serco contract, said that the pay award went ‘some way’ to reducing the pay gap with directly employed NHS estates staff at other Norfolk hospitals.

The basis of Unite’s claim was that its members at the hospital in Norwich had fallen behind, not only industry pay scales, but the rates paid to directly employed staff at other Norfolk NHS trusts covering the James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.

The pay rise, backdated to 1 April 2020, also applies to maintenance staff at the Cromer and District Hospital.

Unite regional coordinating officer Mark Robinson said: “This inflation-busting deal goes some way in reducing the gap between estate workers directly employed in Norfolk by the NHS and those working at the county’s flagship hospital, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

“Maintenance workers in Yarmouth and Kings Lynn had their roles upgraded  recently which had the knock-on effect of making salaries paid by Serco uncompetitive in a market place where our members’ skills are highly prized.

“Our members have campaigned strongly since the beginning of the year for a sizeable increase and are pleased this has been resolved amicably – it is a well-deserved early Christmas present.

“All NHS staff this year have been absolute heroes, including the often-forgotten NHS workers such as those in estates who keep the lights on and the hospital warm.

“The government, when negotiating with health unions for the 2021-2022 pay deal, must reward them for their dedication and bravery. NHS workers have overwhelming public support, regardless of whether they are directly employed or outsourced workers such as the estates group at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

Email: [email protected]

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.