20 August 2003
Fair pay for NHS chefs demand as UNISON launches NHS Food for
UNISON Scotland, the public service union, is today lodging pay
claims with NHS Trusts across Scotland to end the historic low pay
and undervaluing of NHS chefs and associated staff.
The claim seeks £331.02 per week for qualified chefs. This is the
same rate of pay as a plumber gets in the NHS.
In addition UNISON is launching a 10 point NHS Food for Good charter
which seeks to ensure that the spending power of Scotland's biggest
food buyer is used to improve the food economy and health of Scotland,
whilst fulfilling its social and environmental responsibilities.
The charter covers Organic Food; Animal Welfare; Meat Quality;
Fair Trade; 5 Portions a Day; Recycling/Composting; Patients not
Profit; Resources; Real Food; and Fair Pay.
Simon Macfarlane, UNISON Lead Officer for Ancillary workers said:
"The vital contribution chefs make to the NHS and improving patient
health is completely unrecognised by NHS Trusts, some Trusts only
pay chefs £5.34 an hour despite having three years training. Yet
they pay plumbers £8.83 per hour. The vocational qualifications
for plumbers and chefs are at the same level yet there is a huge
disparity in pay. We don't think it is coincidental that there is
this discrepancy between the pay of cooks and plumbers. Of 360 cooks
in the NHS in Scotland 254 are women, yet of 139 plumbers none are
Lilian Macer, a chef working in the NHS, and Vice Chair of UNISON's
Scottish Ancillary Sector Cttee said " Our campaign is about addressing
the historic low pay of chefs in the NHS. But it is also about our
members campaigning pro-actively to improve the service they provide
to patients. Hospital food is often the butt of jokes, but our members
want to turn NHS catering into a world leader. One that benefits
patients' health, improves the diets of tens of thousands of workers
and significantly improves the food economy for all.
"We are therefor calling on the people of Scotland to help us petition
the Scottish Parliament in support of our NHS Food for Good Charter
and fair pay for Chefs and associated staff, whether they work for
the NHS directly or for a contractor."
Note to Editors: The Food for Good Charter and more information
about the campaign can be found at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/nhs/chefs/charter.html
For Further Information Please Contact: Simon Macfarlane
(Lead Officer - Ancillaries) - 0845 355 0845(o) 07931 365 263(m)
Lilian Macer (Vice Chair Ancillary Sector Cttee)- 01698 366674(o)
07986 255956(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)