Health chiefs have pledged that no staff members will be forced to leave a hospital trust where up to 70 posts are set to be axed in a cost cutting exercise.
The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is shedding administrative and clerical jobs – including medical secretaries – as it battles to make savings of £24m this year.
The trust, which runs hospitals in Wakefield, Pontefract and Dewsbury, wants to save a total of £630,000 by axing up top 70 roles and ‘downbanding’ up to 275 further jobs.
Union Unison has said more than 537 administrative staff at the trust are being balloted over strike action in a protest over threatened compulsory redundancies and ‘downbanding.’
Ballot papers were posted out yesterday. (Oct 2)
Trust HR Director Graham Briggs said yesterday: “We need to start preparing for possible strike action.”
He said trust chiefs are “feeling fairly confident now that we will be in a position where we don’t have to have any contested compulsory redundancies.”
He added: “In terms of posts potentially at risk, we expect to have re-deployment opportunities for all of those staff affected.”
“In principle, we are not forcing anyone out of the organisation that wants to stay and have a job. Anyone that wants to remain in employment will have the opportunity to remain.”
Unison regional organiser Jim Bell said the trust could have arrived at the same position earlier.
Mr Bell told the YEP: “We are pleased, although we have still not see anything in writing. As far as the ‘downbanding,’ the ballot still goes on and we look forward to some negotiations with this employer.”
Mr Bell has previously said the trust is “diminishing the level of existing job descriptions to slash wages, “
Mr Briggs admitted staff being considered for ‘downbanding’ could lose out by an average of £2,000 per year.
He added: “It’s about designing new job descriptions and different roles.”