Strikes hit Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust over pay cuts dispute

Hospital workers at Pinderfields are on strike in protest at redundancies and pay cuts.
Hospital workers at Pinderfields are on strike in protest at redundancies and pay cuts.

HOSPITAL workers took strike action in a row over pay cuts and redundancies.

Medical secretaries and receptionists were among union members who joined the picket lines at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

The trust, which runs Pinderfields, Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals is downgrading salaries and cutting jobs as it deals with a multi- million pound deficit.

But public sector union Unison has vowed to fight the cuts, which it said are targeted at low paid and mainly female staff.

More than 500 admin and clerical staff were balloted in the dispute and 88 per cent voted in favour of taking strike action last Wednesday.

Adrian O’Malley, Unison’s branch secretary, addressed strikers at a rally at Wakefield Town Hall.

He said: “We are not to blame for this crisis. We have done the right thing in standing up for our terms and conditions. The support we have received today has been excellent.”

Mr O’Malley said Unison was considering further strike action.

He added: “We hope the trust will now reconsider its actions.”

Dave Bryom, Unison shop steward at Dewsbury and District Hospital said: “We are proud of the tremendous stand you are all taking in defence of jobs and services provided at our hospitals.”

Mid Yorkshire said its financial position meant the pay bill, which accounts for 70 per cent of its costs, must be cut.

Graham Briggs, the trust’s director of HR said: “Our absolute priority is to provide safe, high quality care for our patients, which is sustainable for the longer term. To do this we must have a workforce that is financially sustainable but which is also designed to best meet our service needs.”