Staff gathered outside the hospital yesterday as part of a row involving ISS, a global outsourcing giant which provides cleaners, cooks and porters, and its new pay cycle which will leave some without an income.
The new fortnightly pay cycle will be administered by working 11 days in arrears, the Chronicle understands, and ISS admitted it’s giving interest-free loans to affected workers who will be left out of pocket.
A spokesman from trade union GMB, which organised the protest, said: “We cannot stand by and let members face this kind of hardship.
“In the calendar year 2017, ISS dished out £61m in dividends to shareholders, while the five directors trousered £2m between them.”
ISS told the Chronicle that they have offered all affected employees an interest-free loan, with repayment options from eight weeks to 30 weeks.
“We are aware that the first month of change will result in our people waiting longer for their pay than they currently do and we appreciate the concern employees may have,” a spokesman said.
“We are therefore offering all impacted employees interest-free loans to help smooth the wait and to ensure that individuals have the financial support they need.
“A range of loan options are available to suit individual circumstances.
“Local managers are having proactive one-to-one discussions with their employees to ensure that our people receive the financial and emotional support to meet their specific needs.
“While we are aware that the employees will be embarking upon change, we are providing a full range of support to ease their concerns and any impacts of the change, and we continue to provide opportunities for employees to discuss any issues with us.”
ISS told the Chronicle the changes were borne out of a ‘necessity’ to bring in an enhanced payroll system due to its previous one being no longer supported.
“Currently we operate fifteen different pay cycles which is complex to manage,” the spokesman added. “To prepare us for the transition to the new payroll system, from May 9 we are moving to just one fortnightly pay cycle and one monthly pay cycle.
“We strongly believe this will benefit our employees as it will give more clarity on what an employee will be paid, and when, as there will be more time to check and process pay.
“Changing any payroll system and process has its challenges. This change will affect every ISS employee nationally and we are implementing a focused and comprehensive communications plan to ensure that all our people are aware of the change, understand how it will impact them personally, and that they seek the support ISS is offering to help them through the change.
“Our open approach has proven to help minimise any discomfort the employees may feel because of the necessary change and our local management teams are working hard to communicate the right messages to everyone.”
A Barnsley Hospital spokesperson added: “The ISS programme to upgrade its payroll system and processes is a national one, not a Barnsley Hospital-based matter.
“As a point of accuracy, the cleaners and porters at Barnsley Hospital are directly employed by the hospital group and not ISS.”