FIFTY MEDICAL secretaries at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire walked out earlier this month to hold a two-hour gate demonstration over their regrading claim. The secretaries say the issue has been outstanding since 1988. They are not all members of the UNISON union and took action unofficially.
"We have been meeting together for the last six months," said secretary Julie Burnham, "and last week we unanimously decided we had to do something about it." Rodney Hill, the hospital's director of personnel, met the secretaries and said, "My door is always open. However, we have of course had a particularly busy time in the trust recently."
This was a reference to Hill's top priority, the three years of negotiations over Stoke Mandeville's latest Private Finance Initiative scheme. There were to be meetings this week involving UNISON full time officers. More action will be needed unless bosses give in.
- Paul Burnham