More jobs under threat

Pontefract General Infirmary / Pontefract Hospital
Pontefract General Infirmary / Pontefract Hospital

HEALTH bosses have revealed up to 15 more admin and clerical jobs are likely to go and 275 staff face pay cuts at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

The announcement comes as public service union Unison starts balloting staff for industrial action to protest against the job and pay cuts.

The trust announced two weeks ago that 74 staff – mainly medical secretaries and management roles such as matrons and senior nurses – were at risk of redundancy, with 55 posts set to go.

Graham Briggs, director of human resources, said this week the trust was confident there would be no contested compulsory redundancies, thanks to voluntary redundancies and redeployment.

He said: “We are very confident that everyone who wants to remain in employment with us will have that opportunity.”

However, a review of admin and clerical staff other departments in the trust was due to report yesterday and Mr Briggs said he anticipated around 275 staff could potentially face pay cuts – or ‘downbanding’ – and 12-15 posts would be made redundant, saving the trust about £630,000.

Mr Briggs added that staff facing pay cuts would receive pay protection at their current grade for up to 12 months, and he also expected to have “redeployment opportunities” for the staff facing the risk of redundancy.

He admitted: “I don’t think it will be popular with anybody in the current climate, to lose salary, but we have a pay protection system to allow them to apply for other positions or manage their career so they can move to a position level they want to be in.”

The trust, which runs Pontefract, Pinderfields and Dewsbury hospitals, has to make annual cost savings of £24m and is expecting to be in deficit by £26m by the end of the year.

Unison was due to start balloting staff for strike action and action short of a strike yesterday, with the result expected on October 19.

Adrian O’Malley, branch secretary, said: “Our members are angry that the trust is making them pay the price for the bad financial management, underfunding and the excessive cost of the two PFI hospitals in the trust.

“We will not accept redundancy and pay cuts for loyal trust staff. This strike can be avoided if the trust avoids compulsory redundancy and does not carry out the proposed pay cuts.”

Mr Briggs said: “We are preparing for the possibility of strike action. The union hasn’t produced anything as an alternative for us to consider how we provide services and make these cost savings.”