“Stunning” victory for ISS staff at Prospect Park Hospital

Staff employed by private contractor ISS at Reading’s Prospect Park Hospital are today (Friday) celebrating a momentous victory following a year-long campaign to win the same pay rates as colleagues employed directly by the NHS, says UNISON.

As a result of the union’s campaigning, the firm has agreed to move around 60 staff – including cleaners, caterers, security and porters – on to health service pay rates from next Thursday (27 February).

Staff employed by the NHS receive nationally negotiated pay rates and work under national terms and conditions known as Agenda for Change (AfC). However, many private contractors operating in the health service, including ISS, often pay far less.

In even better news for the ISS staff, who are among the lowest paid in the entire health service, the change will be backdated to April 2019. This will mean an average extra lump sum of around £500 for hard-pressed workers.

ISS also agreed to implement the upcoming AfC pay increase, which is due for all NHS workers in April 2020 and is part of a three-year-deal negotiated by UNISON, and other health unions, back in 2018.

UNISON South East regional organiser Patrick Kenny said: “This is a stunning victory for ISS staff. They fully deserved to be treated in the same way as the NHS employees doing the same jobs.

“These are health service workers through and through, and their commitment to caring for the community is unwavering, no matter who employs them.

“The government must provide enough funds to ensure all NHS workers are paid the national rates, including those who’ve been outsourced.”


  • UNISON has seen a more than fourfold increase in membership among ISS staff since it began its campaign, with 90% of workers in ISS at the hospital now part of UNISON.
  • UNISON has negotiated a local recognition agreement with ISS and holds regular formal joint negotiation consultation committee meetings with the employer.
  • UNISON is campaigning across the country to ensure outsourced health workers don’t lose out when it comes to their pay. Find out more at www.unison.org.uk/at-work/health-care/big-issues/pay-in-the-nhs
  • UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.