A PROTEST against plans to cut jobs and downgrade salaries was held at Pinderfields Hospital.
Around 150 people demonstrated against redundancies and wage cuts to save cash at debt-ridden Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.
Medical secretaries, who are under threat from the proposals, dressed in black to mourn the death of their jobs at Wednesday’s protest.
And their union vowed to fight the plans, which it claims are unfairly targeted at low-paid female staff who could lose thousands of pounds a year.
Unison’s Adrian O’Malley told the protesters: “We have got a good turnout this afternoon and this will show them how serious we are.”
After the protest, he said Unison was working with trust management to avoid compulsory redundancies. But he added: “We will be balloting for strike action if they don’t withdraw these plans.”
The plans are part of a review of admin and clerical roles at Mid Yorkshire, which is forecast to be £26m in deficit at the end of the year.
Staff at the protest said the plans would leave them worse off and struggling to cope with too much work.
One protestor, who asked not to be named, said: “I feel the consultation process is a nonsense. We have people who have never done a medical secretary’s job taking our job descriptions and chopping them up.
“Morale has gone through the floor. Most of us are women and we feel we are being targeted.”
Another said salaries would fall by up to £200 a month but staff would have more work to do. She said: “I don’t think we can do the work between us.”
Karen Barnard, deputy director of HR at trust, said redundancies were a last resort but could not be ruled out.
She said: “We are carrying out a number of consultations with different staff groups on a series of workforce measures that we could take to reduce our pay bill.
“At this stage of the process no formal decisions have been made. We are speaking to affected staff to discuss the possible changes in more detail and will be reviewing their feedback to determine the final workforce changes.
“This is one of a series of workforce measures that we are looking at. Other workforce measures affect a range of different staff groups, including more senior staff and managers.”