East Lancashire NHS Trust intransigence forces new period of strike action by biomedical scientists.

Bosses at East Lancashire NHS Trust must shoulder the blame for a new 12 week strike which starts today (15 December). 

Blackburn and Burnley biomedical scientists will re-start strike action today (Wednesday 15 December) in a dispute over unpaid wages. 

Union negotiators met with the Trust on Tuesday (7 December) last week in an attempt to identify a solution to the dispute. It was an opportunity to avoid further strike action and to re-establish union / Trust relations. On the eve of the strike, the Trust had still failed to take up the opportunity to end the dispute.

The skilled NHS staff at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust are owed on average between £8000 and £12,000.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Last week Unite met with the Trust with an offer to work constructively to get a deal to resolve this strike. Instead our offer has been met with a stubborn unwillingness to end the dispute. 

“The Trust’s Chief Executive Martin Hodgson has the failed the staff, the patients, and he’s failed the taxpayer.

"The biomedical scientists are taking action because they have a genuine, legitimate, fair and reasonable case and they have Unite's unwavering support. This dispute will now go ahead and our campaign will escalate."


Notes to editors

The scientists have already been on strike in two periods this year between 31 May and 28 July and between 20 August and 11 November. 

The dispute centres on unpaid wages owed to the scientists by the Trust for the period between 2010 and 2019. The workers have been paid at a band 6 on the NHS Agenda for Change pay scale since 2019. However, at varying stages the workers became eligible to be paid at band 6 since 2010. The skilled NHS staff are owed on average between £8000 and £12,000. Unite negotiated a deal for the workers to be paid what they were owed in 2019 but the Trust reneged on the deal.

Last month the union submitted new detailed evidence to Martin Hodgson the Trust's Chief Executive which supports the workers' claim. The evidence includes an e-mail from Mr Hodgson from 2019 where he acknowledges that the uplift to band 6 applied to the biomedical scientists. 

Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

Email: [email protected]


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