UNISON is calling for urgent talks at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust after members voted for more industrial action in a dispute over plans to downgrade and cut jobs.
Members at hospitals in Wakefield, Dewsbury and Pontefract have already taken nine days of strike action over Trust plans to cut £25m by April next year. “We have a mandate for further industrial action and we are seeking talks with the management to reach agreements and avoid a strike,” said regional organiser Jim Bell after the vote, which saw the “vast majority” of those balloted say they were prepared to take further action.
Hundreds of staff went on strike in November and January after admin and clerical staff were told to accept pay cuts of up to £2,800. The trust’s plans also affect nurse specialists and dental nurses, as well as administrative staff.
“We have successfully opposed management’s original plans to make 80 compulsory redundancies,” added Mr Bell, “but there are still major issues to discuss regarding downbanding of pay and the length of time our members’ pay is protected from the effects of that.
“Many of our members have never taken industrial action before this dispute and feel they have been forced into this by the attacks on their pay and conditions.
“Both sides in this dispute have contacted the arbitration service ACAS with a view to negotiating agreements and I will be seeking to open talks as soon as possible to try to resolve our genuine concerns.”