Skip to main content

Trusts agree staff rebanding deal after year-long dispute

Published on: 27 Jun 2024

Two acute trusts have agreed to reband around 1,500 healthcare assistants – and to backdate pay for five years.

North Tees and Hartlepool and South Tees Hospitals foundation trusts will face multi-million pound bills from the deal, which was agreed by staff after a year long dispute, involving several strikes.

HCAs had originally only been offered three years back pay but the trusts – who share a chief executive – changed their position when more strikes were threatened.

All eligible staff move from Agenda for Change band 2 to band 3. Although these bands only differ by £436 in their annual starting pay, band 3 staff can reach the top of their band after two years and are then paid nearly £2,000 more than a band 2. Some HCAs will immediately move to the top of this band while others will reach it within the next two years.

Band 3 staff do, however, get slightly less of an uplift for unsocial hours, but staff will not have to pay back any of the uplift they have already received; and none will be worse off under the deal, the two trusts have confirmed.

Unison regional secretary Clare Williams told HSJ “a good deal” had been secured by producing evidence the staff were working at band 3 level, and had also been trained to do s.  “Members were very clear they wanted to be rebanded and rewarded appropriately,” she said.

The finer details of the deal and how much each HCA is owed in back pay are still being calculated.

The agreement follows many other settlements across the country, with Unison campaigning to ensure staff are paid in line with the work they do as part of its Pay Fair for Patient Care Campaign.

The level of back pay agreed has varied but one integrated care board warned rebanding poses a “large financial risk” as well as a “consistency risk” between different trusts.

In a joint statement the two trusts said they anticipated the deal “will benefit approximately 1,500 HCAs and we will not be commencing the complex task of assessing each individual’s entitlement.”

But they did not respond to questions from HSJ about the likely cost of both the back pay and the increased ongoing costs.