Deadline to accept pay cuts for staff at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust

Hospital staff who went on strike last week have been given until next Friday to agree to pay cuts of up to £2,800 or face the sack.

Thursday, 7th February 2013, 8:05 am

Admin and clerical workers at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust received letters yesterday warning them they have until February 15 to agree to new terms of employment

Workers staged a five day strike last week against plans to cut salaries and make redundancies at the trust, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals.

Unions Unison and Unite have vowed to fight the cuts, which they say are targeted at low-paid and mainly female staff.

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Last week, around 160 staff received dismissal letters asking them to agree to the pay cuts - but burnt the letters in an angry protest at Pinderfields.

They then formally appealed against their dismissals on the grounds that the trust had not properly consulted them, and asked Mid Yorkshire to confirm that they had until April 25 to agree to the pay cuts.

But the Express understands that staff have received letters which said: “The offer of a new contract cannot be held open to 25 April 2013, nor by attending work on 26 April 2013 will you be deemed to have accepted the offer of re-employment. The offer of a new contract can only be held open for acceptance until 15 February 2013.”

Last Friday, strikers voted to ballot all 3,000 members of Unison’s Mid Yorkshire branch in a huge escalation of the dispute.

Earlier this week, Mid Yorkshire’s interim chief executive, Stephen Eames, said he hoped to settle the dispute before further strike action was called.

Mr Eames said: “If there was a ballot and that was the outcome, we would take stock of the implications for the trust.”

Unison is also furious that Mid Yorkshire has spent £3.7m on consultancy company Ernst and Young as staff face pay cuts.

Anger at the downgrading of salaries intensified further when it emerged the controversial company was paid £425,000 in December alone.

Unison and the trust bosses were trying to negotiate a settlement to the dispute which would have saved £500,000 without cutting salaries.

Mid Yorkshire said dismissal and re-engagement was a legitimate means of changing terms of employment where negotiation and consultation had broken down.