Hospital staff pay dispute settled

Admin and clerical staff on strike outside Pontefract hospital in thier ongoing dispute about pay cuts.'p304c305
Admin and clerical staff on strike outside Pontefract hospital in thier ongoing dispute about pay cuts.'p304c305

A bitter eight-month pay dispute between managers at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and unions has been settled.

The trust signed a new agreement with unions Unison and Unite last week to resolve the dispute over pay cuts to admin and clerical staff, following talks with ACAS.

Unison members had taken nine days of strike action over the dispute, which surr0unded moves by the trust to cut salaries by up to £2,700 a year for staff, as part of a bid to save £24m a year in government-imposed cuts.

However, the new agreement will see staff pay protected for up to three years.

Graham Briggs, director of human resources, said: “I am delighted that all parties have been able to reach a compromise that gives a longer period of pay protection, to allow staff to adjust to the impact of the change, while remaining affordable and enabling our service redesign proposals.

“Of particular importance in this agreement is the recognition by both the trust and the trade unions that we need a new working relationship and to work together in partnership going forward.”

The trust and union representatives had been in talks with support from ACAS since May 28 to resolve the dispute.

Under the terms of the agreement, staff affected by the admin and clerical review will receive a maximum of three years’ pay protection, while staff under review in 2013-14 will get a maximum of two years’ pay protection, and from April 1 2014, they will receive 18 months’ pay protection.

Adrian O’Malley, the trust’s Unison officer, said the proposal had been accepted after extensive consultation with members. He added: “We recognise to make progress for staff in the long-term we do need much more of a partnership approach.

“The agreement gives us the opportunity to take up individual downbanding. We want our members to be paid for the work they do and both sides have agreed to revisit job descriptions to ensure that’s happening. We feel that’s an important part of the agreement.”