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Stay of execution for Mid-Yorkshire hospital staff in bitter pay row

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Hospital workers who face the sack unless they sign up to pay cuts have won a stay of execution as talks progress in a bid to end a bitter industrial dispute.

The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust last month wrote to 162 administrative and clerical staff, asking them to sign up to pay cuts of up to £2,800 by next Friday or face losing their jobs.

Some angry workers burned the dismissal and re-engagement notices during a five-day strike at the end of January.

The trust, which runs hospitals in Wakefield, Pontefract and Dewsbury, has now extended the original February 15 deadline by three weeks.

The debt-ridden trust – which is battling to make savings of £24m – wants to impose pay cuts on up to 500 low paid mainly female staff.

Unison had been considering stepping up their fight by holding a ballot for strike action for all 3,000 of their members at the trust, including nurses and healthcare assistants.

Unison, who have been involved in talks with management, now say further industrial action plans are on hold until after their next official meeting with trust bosses on February 24.

Adrian O’Malley, branch secretary of Unison Mid Yorkshire Health, said: “We have been making more progress than we have in the past.

“We are more hopeful than we have been since last July when they came to us with proposals to ‘downband’ pay and get rid of jobs.”

He added: “The dispute is still on. The trust hasn’t withdrawn their plans to save money and we haven’t withdrawn our dispute.

“We are talking and discussing alternatives.”

A trust spokesman said: “We are pleased that talks with union colleagues are going well and we look forward to working together further with the aim of mutually resolving this dispute.”

 

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