Hospital pathologists, who test blood samples and monitor blood transfusions, will strike for 24 hours tomorrow (Tuesday 16 July) at St James’s Hospital in Leeds, Leeds General Infirmary and Bradford Royal Infirmary.
Unite, the country’s largest union, said the dispute centres on the lack of staff necessary to provide a safe service for the public in the Leeds and Bradford region. The union said the management’s plans could also mean cuts of £20,000 a year for staff.
Blood sciences’ staff at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will strike from 08.30 tomorrow (Tuesday) for 24 hours and will institute a continuous overtime ban, also from tomorrow.
Pathology staff provide essential blood testing, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A total of 140 staff are affected by this dispute and are due to be on strike tomorrow.
Unite regional officer Terry Cunliffe said: “The trust is imposing new working patterns that put patients and staff safety in jeopardy in an attempt to save cash.
“There are insufficient staff to run these rotas, and existing staff will be forced to work excessive unsocial hours to the detriment of family life and health.”
Terry Cunliffe reassured the public about emergencies: “We have an agreement to supply emergency cover,” he said.
He added: “Staff are also expected to suffer significant pay cuts, in some cases up to 40 per cent, which could cost them £20,000 a year. Some staff may be forced to leave and we do not expect any further recruitment by the trust, making matters worse.
“We are asking for management to retract the imposition of these inadequate arrangements, due to come into force on 26 August, and negotiate with us to agree safe and robust arrangements which are workable and to maintain quality services.
“Our members are highly skilled professionals who have not taken this action lightly. We have already suspended our first strike day for four weeks to try and avoid this strike.”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 / 020 3371 2060 and Terry Cunliffe on 07776 202007 / 0113 2364830
Unite reps for media assistance at St James’s Hospital, Leeds - Wilson Tweed on 07868 846508; Leeds General Infirmary Mike O’Sullivan on 07796 671648 and Bradford Royal Infirmary - Gill Stevens on 07759 675868
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.