Talks continue to avert hospital strikes

Admin and clerical staff on strike outside Pontefract hospital in thier ongoing dispute about pay cuts.'p304e305

Admin and clerical staff on strike outside Pontefract hospital in thier ongoing dispute about pay cuts.'p304e305

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Hospital bosses and union representatives are continuing talks to avert further strike action over proposed pay cuts.

Unison met with managers at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust on Monday to present proposals to avoid downgrading the pay of admin and clerical staff by up to £2,700 a year.

The dispute has led to several days of strike action so far, but both sides me on Monday to discuss alternative proposals put forward by Unison to avoid the need to downband staff pay, including working reduced hours and improvide efficiency in working practices.

They have agreed to continue talks to develop the proposals, and a deadline to respond to letters of dismissal and re-engagement issued to affected staff has been extended.

Graham Briggs, director of human resources at the trust and Jim Bell, regional officer at Unison, issued a joint statement on Tuesday.

It said: “We had a constructive meeting yesterday and have agreed to meet again on March 21 to give the trust time to consider the proposal in detail.

“Alongside this, the trust has agreed to extend the date when affected admin and clerical staff would need to respond to dismissal and re-engagement letters to March 22. We remain committed to working together to reach a mutually agreed outcome.”

The trust needs to save £500,000 from the admin and clerical budget.

Adrian O’Malley, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals’ Unison representative, added: “We have made good progress and it’s looking a lot more positive. The proposals are being considered and we are putting more flesh on the bones. We are quite pleased with where things are going.”