Strike ballot at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust

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BALLOT papers will be sent to staff at the trust which runs Pinderfields Hospital next week in a strike vote over redundancies and wage cuts.

Public sector union Unison is balloting around 500 members at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust over plans to axe up to 40 staff and downgrade the pay of up to 200.

The trust, which is forecast to be £26m in deficit at the end of the year, has put staff on notice of redundancy in a review of admin and clerical positions to cut costs.

Unison says the cuts mean low-paid and mainly female staff will pay the price for a financial crisis they did not cause at Mid Yorkshire.

Adrian O’Malley, Unison’s branch secretary, said: “We will not accept redundancy and pay cuts for loyal trust staff.

“This strike will be avoided if the trust avoids compulsory redundancy and does not carry out the proposed pay cuts.”

The ballot closes on Friday, October 19, and strike action could be taken from November 1.

Graham Briggs, Mid Yorkshire’s director of HR, said: “We will be actively working with affected colleagues and staff side to avoid compulsory redundancies through measures such as voluntary redundancies and redeployment.

“However to make the necessary savings, we do need to reduce our workforce costs and regretfully we cannot rule out having to make redundancies.”

Unison is also planning a lunchtime picnic protest against the cuts at Pinderfields on Wednesday.