Strike threat over hospital job cuts

Headshot of Unison boss Adrian O'Malley, chairman of Mid Yorkshire Health branch
Headshot of Unison boss Adrian O'Malley, chairman of Mid Yorkshire Health branch
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HOSPITAL workers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a ballot for strike action over redundancies and pay cuts.

Medical secretaries are among up to 40 staff facing the axe at Mid Yorkshire NHS Hospitals Trust, which runs Pontefract Hospital, under a review of administrative and clerical roles to save cash.

The trust also plans to downgrade salaries, leading to pay cuts of up to £2,800, public sector union Unison said. In a consultative ballot of Unison members, 95 per cent voted in favour of strike action and 98 per cent voted for industrial action short of a strike.

Unison said a formal ballot for industrial action would be held unless the trust, which is facing a £26m deficit at the end of the year, backs down.

Unison’s Adrian O’Malley said: “The overwhelming vote for action shows the strength of feeling about these attacks on a predominantly low-paid female workforce.”

Mid Yorkshire said no formal decisions had been made about pay bandings and affected staff were being consulted.

Graham Briggs, the trust’s director of HR, said redundancies were a last resort.

He said: “However to make the necessary savings, we do need to reduce our workforce costs and regretfully we cannot rule out having to make redundancies.”