AROUND 300 medical secretaries across the north of Glasgow planned to strike for three days this week. The action follows a stunning 91.3 percent vote for strikes in a ballot. The workers' UNISON union branch has been pursuing a regrading claim for all medical secretaries for 14 months.
The trust has failed to resolve the dispute, and the secretaries have rejected notions that the recent National Framework proposal comes anywhere close to meeting their demands.
The secretaries want their jobs to be upgraded and retention of their present allowances. They have launched a strict work to rule to put the pressure on management. Medical secretary Frances Lyall says, 'It seems that the only way the trust are going to understand the value of what we do is by us not being there.'
Carolyn Leckie, UNISON branch secretary, says, 'The ability of the NHS to provide a service in the future is being put in jeopardy by failure to pay medical secretaries the correct salary to reflect the importance of the work they do. Recruitment of medical secretaries and other NHS staff is becoming increasingly difficult. If this problem is not solved now there will be very few people left willing to work in the NHS.'
Messages of support and donations to Cathy McLean, Treasurer, UNISON Office, Cuthbertson Building, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Castle Street, Glasgow G4 0SF.