First NHS Trust in Birmingham keeps promise on Living Wage

1st Oct 2015

TODAY, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust becomes the first NHS Trust in Birmingham to deliver on its promise to adopt the Living Wage for all employees. It means that 225 staff at the acute trust will see their salary increase.

Trust Convenor Chris Rickards commented: “It is great news that Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust recognises the hard work and dedication of its workforce and has been the first Trust in Birmingham to implement the living wage, which will benefit our lowest-paid members. Many low paid staff have lived on the poverty line for a long time and this will go some way to bridging the gap.”

The change will see all members of staff currently earning less than £7.85 an hour paid that amount as a minimum wage in the organisation. The role mainly affected by this change is that of the Health Care Assistant (HCA), a familiar figure in the Trust as they work across hospital and community settings, under the guidance of qualified healthcare professionals.

Yvonne Plaza (58, Tamworth), who has been a Health Care Assistant for 20 years and has been with the Trust for three years, said: “I am very pleased to learn this good news. Increased salary would help me to cover the travelling expenses from home to work. Now, I do not need to work extra shifts to cover my living and have more time to spend with my family and friends. It is such a relief for me and my family.”

Crystal Daniel, HCA on ward D15 at City Hospital added: “I am very happy to hear about the wage increased. It will help with my monthly expenses and I can afford some holidays now.”

Trust Chief Executive Toby Lewis explained: “This is dear to the hearts of many members of staff in the organisation, and was raised at Trust Board with the support of the non-executive directors. After completing our investment plans for 2015-16 we earned the opportunity to become Living Wage compliant for employed staff excluding apprentices. Following this move it is hoped that other NHS organisations across Birmingham will also adopt the Living Wage benefitting their lowest paid staff.”

Waseem Zaffar, Non-Executive Director at the Trust said: “I’m passionate about a living wage society and delighted that Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust is a leading public sector institution who has become a living wage employer, enabling 225 employees and future staff to earn a living wage.”

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