Dispute escalates at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals after pay talks break down

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Further strike action could hit the district’s hospitals after talks to resolve a bitter dispute over pay and jobs broke down.

Public sector union Unison could carry out a threat to ballot all 3,000 of its members at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust in a row over pay cuts of up to £2,800 for admin and clerical staff.

The two sides met on Thursday to try and resolve the dispute, which has so far led to nine days of strike action and angry protests.

Unions say the pay cuts are targeted at some of the lowest paid and mainly female members of staff.

Unison and trust bosses discussed an alternative proposal to save money at the cash-strapped trust without cutting salaries.

But Graham Briggs, the trust’s director of HR, said: “Regrettably the alternative proposal that was put forward by union colleagues actually increased the annual costs of running the service by £2m, which is clearly unaffordable.”

Unison said it disputed the figure.

Mr Briggs said a final improved offer of up to 18 months pay protection plus an additional six months pay protection in a lump sum had been made.

A deadline for staff to sign up for the pay cuts or cease working for the trust has been extended until March 28.

Mr Briggs said: “There is nothing further that can be gained by continued negotiations and we therefore have no option but to make our final pay protection offer and to proceed to implement the proposals.”

Unison’s Adrian O’Malley said a ballot of all the union’s members at Mid Yorkshire could now go ahead.