The staff, including cleaners, porters and caterers, are employed by Bolton iFM and a group of them lobbied iFM board members yesterday on the way in to their meeting.
Margaret, a long-standing member of staff who works as a cleaner, said to the board meeting: “I’ve worked for 20 years in the NHS and now I’m on poverty pay. We should be paid proper NHS pay.”
This year NHS staff across the country received a pay rise, they are employed on a contract known as Agenda for Change.
Their pay went up to £8.92 an hour, and will rise to £9.89 an hour over two years.
Previously the hospital trust has said the new Agenda for Change pay structure is not directly transferable to iFM staff but that it was working to determined an appropriate rise.
Tim Ellis, UNISON regional organiser, said: “Staff are being treated very unfairly.
“They do important work in our hospitals and they should be paid the rate for the job.
“The Trust and iFM need to take urgent action to resolve this dispute.”
Last week UNISON sent out ballot papers to its members who will vote on whether to strike over the issue.
If staff do vote to strike it will be at least October before all the formal steps have been completed to allow a strike to take place.
UNISON has also criticised Bolton iFM for not applying for government funding which is available to hospitals to pay this year’s pay rise.
Bolton North East MP Sir David Crausby lent his support to the iFM staff's cause last week, reiterating his criticism of wholly-owned subsidiary companies which he has previously called a back door to NHS privatisation.