Union to ballot 3,000 NHS staff on strike action

Unison members striking outside Pontefract hospital.'p320f247
Unison members striking outside Pontefract hospital.'p320f247

Further strike action could hit the district’s hospitals after talks to resolve a bitter dispute over pay and jobs broke down.

Public sector union Unison could carry out a threat to ballot all 3,000 of its members at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust in a row over pay cuts of up to £2,800 for admin and clerical staff.

Unions say the pay cuts are targeted at some of the lowest paid and mainly female members of staff.

The dispute has already led to nine days of strike action and angry protests.

Unison and trust bosses met last Thursday to discuss an alternative proposal to save money at the cash-strapped trust without cutting salaries.

Graham Briggs, Mid Yorkshire’s director of HR, said the alternative proposal actually increased costs by £2m - but Unison dispute the trust’s figures.

Mr Briggs said: “There is nothing further that can be gained by continued negotiations and we therefore have no option but to make our final pay protection offer and to proceed to implement the proposals.”

Mr Briggs said a final improved offer of up to 18 months pay protection plus an additional six months pay protection in a lump sum had been made.

Unison’s Adrian O’Malley said a ballot of all the union’s members at Mid Yorkshire could now go ahead.