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Strike called over staff transfer plan at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust

Pinderfields Hospital
Pinderfields Hospital
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An NHS trust could be facing strike action over a controversial transfer of hundreds of its workers into a private company - despite putting the plan on hold.

Public sector union Unison has given notice of a three-day strike at Wakefield-based Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust in a dispute over plans to move around 900 non-medical staff to an outside company.

The plan sparked fierce opposition from the union and from MPs who urged bosses at the trust to ditch the proposal for a “wholly-owned subsidiary” (WOS) company to take over some services.

Fears were raised that while current workers would have their wages and holiday entitlements protected, newly recruited staff could be employed on worse terms and conditions.

If the strike goes ahead, staff will walk out for three days from August 20. But Unison said it was seeking talks with trust bosses after Mid Yorkshire decided not to press ahead with the staff transfer this year.

Mid Yorkshire said it was awaiting the outcome of a review of the use of outside companies by the Department of Health and the health regulator NHS Improvement. Chief Executive Martin Barkley said: “We are therefore halting all work associated with establishing a WOS, at least until the end of this year. In these circumstances it is really hard to understand the rationale for strike action which will cause serious disruption to patient services.”

Leeds Teaching Hospitals has already shelved similar plans for a staff transfer.