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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 November 2012

The battle against pay cuts continues in Mid Yorks hospitals

A strike leader
Three-day strike of Mid Yorkshire Unison NHS staff against pay cuts and mass downgrading, photo Iain Dalton

Three-day strike of Mid Yorkshire Unison NHS staff against pay cuts and mass downgrading, photo Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

Admin and clerical Unison and Unite members at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust ended their three-day strike action on 22 November - with a firm resolve to fight on against Trust proposals to impose pay cuts of between 1,700 and 2,800 a year on over 350 medical secretaries, receptionists and other admin staff employed at Dewsbury, Pontefract and Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.

Over 40 posts have also been axed through voluntary redundancy and a 'Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme'.

While admitting that down-grading these posts will save just 650,000 a year, they have paid 3.3 million to external management consultants for advice on how to implement these measures!

Health workers suffering job and pay cuts while big business profiteers continue to rake in vast amounts of public money are growing increasingly angry.

Picket lines were very well attended over the three days of the strike, and there was a defiant and buoyant mood despite the weather.

At a rally at the end of the three days, new Unison steward Karen summed up this mood when she said: "I will stand through wind, rain, sleet, snow, whatever - until we win." And an indicative vote returned a unanimous 'yes' in favour of further strike action.

Other groups of workers know that they will be next in line for similar attacks. Many have been asking "when are you going to ballot us?" Unless there is a major climb down by management, these staff will be balloted and the dispute will be escalated.

The solidarity and support shown by Unison branches across the country, and by the wider workers' movement, has been fantastic. We know that the dispute is being keenly watched by other Unison health branches expecting to face similar offensives.

We hope we are giving them the confidence to resist.

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In The Socialist 28 November 2012:


 

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