HOSPITAL workers held a demonstration against “scandalous” plans that will see them lose a week’s pay.

Staff at University Hospital Hairmyres have fallen victim to plans by commercial contractor ISS to change their pay date, meaning they will be short on their salaries until they leave their jobs.

The change, due to be implemented in May, means almost 300 predominantly women and lower paid staff will have to wait three weeks before their next pay.

UNISON members yesterday held a protest outside the Lanarkshire hospital.

Margo Cranmer, secretary of the Lanarkshire Health Branch of UNISON, said: “NHS Lanarkshire is paying huge sums of money to ISS every month to pay our members’ wages.

“How can ISS justify making these members go for three weeks without pay to change their payroll system?

“This is our members’ money they are holding on to.

“Even after three weeks, they will not get their full wages. They will only be paid for two weeks.

“They will only get their money back when they eventually leave their jobs.”

Commercial contractor ISS, which provides catering, cleaning and portering services at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride as part of a contract awarded by NHS Lanarkshire, plan to change the date that staff receive their fortnightly pay meaning they will have to go three weeks without pay.

They have been offered a bridging loan to tide them over but they have to pay it back within a few weeks.

Ms Cranmer added: “Offering a payday loan is adding insult to injury.

“Our members don’t want to have to get into debt unnecessarily.

“This is going to cause severe hardship for many of our members and their families.

“Some households have two wage earners working for ISS so it will cause them even more problems.

“Families won’t be able to meet their commitments, could run up bank charges and this could place them in huge financial difficulty.”

Scottish Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, Monica Lennon MSP, criticised the move as “scandalous”.

She said: “This is absolutely scandalous.

“Hospital staff work day and night to give patients world class care, they least they deserve is to be paid on time and in full by their employer.

“Offering them loans to try and make ends meet – and then taking the money back - is simply not good enough.

“I have written to the Health Secretary urging her to intervene and ensure these hardworking hospital staff get paid what they are owed without any delay.”

John White, NHS Lanarkshire director of human resources, said: "We have had no input into this change which was made by ISS UK.

"While we do not directly employ the staff affected, they are all valued members of the healthcare team at University Hospital Hairmyres.

"I have personally met with members of staff to listen to their concerns and have given a commitment to relay these direct to ISS.

"I have sought assurance from ISS that they will fully consider the concerns raised and support their staff through this transition."