Hospital staff out on strike

HOSPITAL workers stepped up their fight against job and pay cuts yesterday with a 24-hour walkout.

Hundreds of Unison members joined picket lines and a rally to show their anger at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust’s plans to scrap 70 clerical jobs.

The cash-strapped trust, which is trying to save £24m this year, also wants to re-grade 275 clerical posts. It means hundreds face being moved to lower paid grades with salary cuts of up to £2,700.

Medical records supervisor Dave Byrom was among those on strike at Dewsbury and District Hospital.

“My own job is at risk, but it’s not only jobs and pay that are affected. It’s the hospital services we’re trying to protect as well,” he said.

The Trust said all services had run normally at Dewsbury, Wakefield and Pontefract hospitals, despite the strike.

HR director Graham Briggs said the Trust must have a financially sustainable workforce to make sure it could offer safe, high quality care for the long term.

He said nobody who wanted to stay was being made redundant and the Trust was open to further talks.

The Trust must save £24m this financial year if it is to cut its deficit to £26m.