28 January 2013
Dave Prentis, leader of Unison, showed his solidarity with Mid Yorks strikers by visiting the picket line on Friday. He asked the strikers how he could support them and they told him they wanted a branch wide ballot of their 3000 members. He promised to support them if they got a yes vote and promised more financial assistance from Unison. Later at the rally of strikers over 130 people voted for a branch wide ballot to escalate the action – it was carried unanimously.
Over a hundred strikers and supporters of the Unison Mid Yorks Downbanding Dispute rallied this morning outside the Trust’s HQ. They were demanding no job losses and no pay cuts.
The management had been issuing sacking notices over the last few days so strikers brought them along and publically burnt them in a show of defiance.
The strikers then went to listen to the well heeled members of the Trust board try to justify their treatment of the strikers. They were told how hard the workers were performing and how the Mid Yorks is doing well, yet still the Trust insisted on cuts in salaries to some of the lowest paid part time staff. The description of how management saw the strike process was met with jeers and comments from the angry workers.
Friday will see the last day of strike activity. A final rally to decide on future action is at 1pm in Wakefield Town Hall. Please bring banners and messages of solidarity along.
The passing motorists were showing tremendous support by waving or tooting their horns in solidarity with those fighting the wage cuts.
A parent brought his 3 year old daughters to the picket and they held the placards in support. He had been sent from Dewsbury hospital to get treatment in Pinderfields, something that will happen more and more if the Trust get away with reducing A & E provision at Dewsbury. It had taken him 20 minutes to drive and it wasn’t rush hour.
Strikers are now receiving their letters terminating their contracts but the determination to collectively resist is there as they discuss tactics.
Thursday will see collective burning of these letters alongside a protest outside the Trust HQ – get to the picket before 8am and bring banners to show solidarity.
Friday at 1pm will see hundreds of strikers meeting in Wakefield Town Hall for a Strike Rally. Send your banners and show solidarity and witness proper working class democracy as the strikers discuss and debate what next in their struggle.
The 5 day strike of Admin and Clerical staff at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust started today.
Over 120 pickets were outside Dewsbury, Pinderfields and Pontefract hospitals from 8am to 12pm.
The mood of the pickets has hardened since the last 3 day strike in November as the Trust has started to distribute dismissal and reengagement letters to up to 300 staff. The letters contain the new contracts on lower bands they are attempting to bully the staff into signing.
The dispute has now stepped up a level with the distribution of these letters.
Our branch committee and the strike committee have both called for a branch wide ballot for strike action in defence of Agenda for Change rates of pay.
The Trust has refused to discuss alternatives as they have plans to go through the whole workforce attacking wages and jobs.
They are in for a fight if they do. The mainly female Admin staff have surprised the bosses with their determination to keep their current Pay bands.
On Thursday we are lobbying the Trust Board at its open meeting at Pinderfields Trust HQ. If you are in the area please come and give us your support. The lobby starts at 8 am.
You can also keep up to date with the dispute on our Facebook page Mid Yorks A&C strike
We have had 500 members, full and part time taking strike action.
Please continue to send us your messages of support and donations to
Unison Mid Yorkshire Health Branch
Trade Union Office