‘Ice cream van ban‘ denied by Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust bosses

editorial image

NHS workers were banned from holding a picnic in the grounds of Pinderfields Hospital to protest against low pay, their union claims.

Unison said its low pay picnic and an ice cream van brought in to provide free cones to protesters had to assemble outside the hospital on the orders of management.

But bosses at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust have denied banning the event, organised by Unison to highlight falling wages for NHS workers.

Most NHS staff got a one per cent pay rise or no wage increase this year, but staff parking charges at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust went up by four per cent.

Unison had invited workers to bring a picnic and enjoy free ice cream at noon yesterday.

Branch secretary Adrian O’Malley said: “They didn’t give us a reason. All I know is they didn’t want it happening on site.

“Everybody was laughing about it. This has probably got us more publicity at the trust because people are coming up to me saying, ‘I can’t believe your ice cream van got banned’.”

Angela Wilkinson, Mid Yokshire’s director of HR, said: “We didn’t ban Unison from protesting. We just politely asked them to move off hospital grounds, which they did.

“Our priority must be patients and people using our hospitals and facilities.”

Picnics were also held at Fieldhead Hospital and Dewsbury and District Hospital in a day of action by Unison.