Pay protests at Pinderfields and Dewsbury hospitals

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Protests against low pay in the NHS will be held tomorrow at hospitals in Wakefield and Dewsbury.

Public sector union Unison has organised lunchtime protest picnics at Pinderfields and Dewsbury and District hospitals as part of a national day of action.

The union is calling for strike action after its members saw cuts to their pay in real terms as wage rises fell behind increases in the cost of living.

Forty per cent of NHS staff got only a one per cent pay rise this year and many had no increase at all.

Unison pointed out that parking charges for staff at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust rose four per cent this year - and food in hospital restaurants went up by five per cent.

NHS workers are invited to bring their own food to the picnics from noon-1pm tomorrow (Thursday), when Unison will provide free ice cream.

Unison’s Christina McAnea said: “We want to use this day to build support for a resounding yes vote when we ballot for strike action.

“Our members in the NHS tell us they are demoralised, overworked and undervalued. And we also know that a de-motivated workforce is bad for patients.

“Pay in the NHS has been effectively cut by 10 per cent since the coalition government came to power.”