Hospital pathologists, who test blood samples and monitor blood transfusions, will strike for 48 hours this week at St James’ Hospital in Leeds, Leeds General Infirmary and Bradford Royal Infirmary in the continuing dispute over patient safety.
The strike will run for 48 hours starting at 08.30 on Thursday (1 August) and will continue on Friday (2 August). Staff staged a day’s strike on 16 July when a continuous overtime ban also began.
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.
Talks have been held to seek a settlement to the dispute with the management of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust under the auspices of the conciliation service, Acas.
Unite regional officer Terry Cunliffe said: “However, we have failed to make the progress that we had hoped for and the trust continues to impose shift arrangements that are, in the opinion of Unite, unsafe for patients and staff.
“We have a duty to fight such proposals and to bring this issue to the attention of the public.
“We had offered to reconsider this week’s industrial action if the trust withdrew the threat to impose these shifts on our members, but up to today (30 July) it has refused.
“Unite has agreed to ensure that we will work with the trust to ensure emergency cover will be maintained.”
Pathology staff provide essential blood testing, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A total of 140 staff are affected by this dispute.
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.