Union leaders say up to 500 hospital trust workers are to stage five days of strike action from Monday as a bitter industrial dispute over pay cuts escalates.
Medical secretaries are among Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust administrative workers who have already walked out for a total of four days during two strikes last October and November.
Admin workers at the trust – which runs hospitals in Wakefield, Pontefract and Dewsbury – are angry over management proposals to impose pay cuts of up to £2,800 on around 300 members of staff.
Talks between unions Unison, Unite and management broke down last week.
Adrian O’Malley, branch secretary of Unison Mid Yorkshire Health, said: “There could be up to 500 full time and part time staff on strike for five days from Monday. Our members are being asked to take pay cuts of up to 20 per cent and they are very angry. We know we will have good support, people are determined to see it through.”
The trust, which is seeking to make savings of £24m, say costs must be reduced.
A trust spokesman said management has offered to extend the period of time for which affected members of staff will have their pay protected to a maximum of 18 months with an additional six months pay protection given in a lump sum.
Graham Briggs, the trust’s director of human resources, said: “During the previous two periods of industrial action our thorough contingency planning and the flexibility and cooperation of staff has ensured that we were able
to maintain normal services. We would like to reassure local people that rely on us that we intend there to be no disruption to patient care and treatment during next week’s industrial action.
“We must reduce our costs and in particular our pay bill and it is disappointing that our continued attempts to work with union representatives to find a mutually agreeable solution for the trust and the members they represent continue to be rejected.
“The position of the unions remains that they want us to offer lifetime pay protection to their members but the reality is that this would not enable us to make the necessary changes to our pay bill or reflect value for public money.”