DOZENS of admin staff at Dewsbury and District Hospital walked out again this week as a row over job and pay cuts escalated.
It is the third time since November that Unison members have gone on strike in protest at plans to cut the pay of some workers by up to £2,800.
Regional organiser Jim Bell said: “They’ve started issuing redundancy letters. They’re taking the nuclear option of dismissing everybody rather than negotiating.”
The cash-strapped Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust said last year that it wanted to move some admin and clerical staff at hospitals in Dewsbury, Wakefield and Pontefract to lower paid job grades.
Now it has sent letters to 162 workers giving them three months to sign up to the new terms or face redundancy.
Trust HR director Graham Briggs said: “Dismissal and re-engagement is perfectly legitimate and normal practice for changing terms and conditions when negotiations and consultation break down.”
He said Unison had rejected five offers, including agreeing to look for alternative ways to make the necessary savings.
But Mr Bell said they refused because there were ‘too many strings attached’.
The Trust said around 220 staff took part in the first day of action on Monday, but services were not being affected.
Many passing motorists sounded their horns in support of strikers on Tuesday.
David Honeybell, a member of the public, joined them.
He said: “They’ve not had a pay rise for three years. They’re not asking for one. They just want to keep the status quo.”
The strike ends tomorrow.