Unite the Union

Unite the Union

November 16, 2007 06:39 ET

Doncaster NHS Maintenance Workers Continue Strike Action

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 16, 2007) - The strike involving maintenance craft workers at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will continue on Monday 19th November.

The dispute is due to the Trusts refusal to implement a recruitment and retention premia which is part of a national pay agreement agreed under Agenda for Change (AfC) which amounts to around Pounds Sterling 3000 per year.

This is despite members of the NHS Employers Group including the chair of the group recognising that the recruitment and retention premia is a contractual obligation.

Joe Brayford, HR Director at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is also chair of the national Pay Negotiating Council which is one of the bodies with responsibility for negotiating and monitoring the national pay awards of staff on AfC.

Unite National Officer, Kevin Coyne, says:

"Members of the NHS Employers Group including the chair of the group recognise that the recruitment and retention premia is a contractual obligation. It is absolutely astonishing that Joe Brayford, who is the HR Director at the Trust and chair of the national Pay Negotiating Council does not recognise this contractual obligation.

Mr Brayford has responsibility for the implementation of Agenda for Change. He should know better. Trusts cannot just pick and choose from national agreements.

"Unless this unfair decision is reversed our members have no alternative but to take strike action on Monday 19th November and the following Monday. The union is also considering introducing a continuous overtime and call-out ban."

The union believes the Trust is in breach of the workers' contract of employment and is failing to recognise the importance of the role of maintenance workers at the trust.

In April of this year, Unite won a tribunal on behalf of four members against Newcastle NHS Foundation Trust which sought to opt out of the premium. The premium was introduced following the implementation of the national agreement 'AfC' as a way of recruiting and retaining skilled workers. The Tribunal confirmed that the four members were entitled to the recruitment and retention premium worth nearly Pounds Sterling 3000 per year.

In June a strike by NHS maintenance workers across Northern Ireland was averted at the last minute when the Department of Health in Northern Ireland agreed to implement the premium.

Contact Information

  • Unite Press Office
    Ciaran Naidoo
    07768 931 315