Socialist Worker

500 hospital workers may strike over jobs and pay

Issue No. 2324

Admin and clerical workers are balloting for strikes and industrial action short of a strike to defend their jobs and pay.

The attack will affect 500 workers at Dewsbury, Pinderfields and Pontefract hospitals. They are members of the Unison union.

Over 70 jobs are threatened, and a further 275 workers’ jobs face being downgraded. This could see some workers lose £2,700 from their wage.

On the first day of their ballot, the Unison union members held a protest at the trust headquarters. The ballot is set to close on Friday of next week.

The attacks come as “cost-cutting consultants” advised hospital bosses to cuts jobs and pay—while charging £3.4 million for their?“services”. Ernst & Young snatched £2,647,252.80 for their advice. Finnamore grabbed a further £495,098.57.

Blood strike postponed

A strike planned for by blood transfusion service workers in north London planned for Wednesday to Friday this week has been postponed. Talks were set to take place between bosses and the workers’ Unite union.

Bosses want to close the Colindale site and transport blood samples from London and the south east to Filton on the south west coast for testing. Workers at other sites were set to impose an overtime ban in solidarity.

Sick pay dispute at north east NHS trust

Bosses at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust plan to cut enhanced sickness pay in the latest attack on the NHS Agenda for Change national bargaining agreement.

They plan to dismiss 5,542 workers and re-employ them on a new contract to slash pay. Workers would lose unsocial hours sick pay. Unions at North Tees and Hartlepool Trust have opposed the attack. But joint strikes will be needed urgently to stop it.

Meanwhile NHS employers have challenged the suggestion that the government might allow even a below-inflation 1 percent increase. They say this is too much and not necessary.

There is a “cartel” of bosses at over 20 trusts in the South West who have united to undermine national agreements on pay. But five trusts in the North East have recently confirmed that they will stay in the national framework.

BMA Scotland set to ballot

The BMA doctors’ organisation in Scotland is set to ballot for further action over pensions. This follows the BMA’s industrial action across Britain in June. Meanwhile NHS bosses have announced doctors’ pay will be frozen for the third year running.

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Tue 9 Oct 2012, 17:25 BST
Issue No. 2324
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