Wirral University Hospital Trust staff strike over pay

Wirral University Hospital TrustHealthcare workers employed by Wirral University Hospital Trust have begun strike action today (Monday 1 July) in a long-running dispute over pay.

The employees, who are members of trade union Unite, work as recovery theatre practitioners and care for patients recovering from serious operations. They are based at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral, Merseyside.

Due to end on 7 July, the strike is taking place as the workers claim they are not paid appropriately by their employer and that their workplace responsibilities are not being recognised. They stated that they are paid a band below the level of responsibility and duties they are providing and are due an extra £8,000 as a result.

The employees went on strike earlier this year on 16-17 April, 7-9 and 23-24 May, and 3-6 June, stating that they are determined to continue to take strike action until the trust begins to negotiate. The impact of the strikes could lead to delays in operations for patients.

A Wirral University Teaching Hospital spokesperson said: “The trust has not failed to acknowledge the responsibilities of these staff members. There is an established process for reviewing banding, which unfortunately, Unite members have chosen not to participate in thus far.

“In our effort to resolve this dispute, we have offered additional flexible options for staff to provide evidence of work at a higher grade. It is therefore disappointing that strike action is being pursued. The trust has implemented comprehensive arrangements to prepare for this industrial action, ensuring that there are no delays or disruptions to patient care.”

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Sharon Graham, general secretary at Unite, added: “It is a disgrace that an NHS employer is refusing to acknowledge the hard work our members are doing and the vital care they provide to patients. The Wirral Trust must immediately do the right thing and pay our members the proper rate for the job.”

Derek Jones, regional officer at Unite, said: “Our members are prepared to take any strike action needed to force the trust to come back to the negotiating table.”