Unite members at Salford are angry at proposed pay cut at a time when £200m has been spent on redeveloping hospital


Pathologists in Salford are threatening to go on strike over a £6,000 pay cut.

Unite members at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust are angry at plans to slash their salaries at a time when the trust has recently spent £200m re-developing the hospital site.

About 60 affected staff are challenging the plans through the trust’s internal procedures, with a grievance hearing set for Thursday. If that fails, there is the threat of an industrial action ballot.

This dispute follows the merger with Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh’s pathology services and is centred on plans to downgrade already demoralised staff.

Unite regional officer Gary Owen said: “The trust’s answer to saving money is to give another kick in the teeth to its loyal and professional staff.”

Staff have already endured a three-year pay freeze, a huge reduction in payments for working unsocial hours, and imposed increases in their pension contributions by the coalition government.

Unite said that biochemistry at the trust is on the risk register due to staffing issues, as at least six staff have left to find other jobs. Biochemistry was “at breaking point”.

Gary Owen added: “As a result of these various elements, some staff have complained of losses in earnings of up to 30 per cent – and this proposed reorganisation will add to that.

“This has meant that some of our members have had to re-mortgage their properties, or rent them out and move in with friends and family.

“These are qualified professional healthcare scientists, who provide diagnostic tests on GP samples and on samples from hospital inpatients and outpatients, often in emergency situations that can mean the difference between life and death.

“The result will be cuts to salary, staff performing below their capabilities, and an inevitable loss of qualified staff to other hospitals, as they try to hang on to a decent standard of living for themselves and their families.

“The trust has yet to provide the full evidence of the savings it is required to make, despite Unite’s repeated requests – but if they think they can achieve that by slashing our members’ professionalism – and along with it, their wages – then they had better think again.

“We urge the trust to work with us to examine other ways of making the efficiency savings it alleges are required.”

A typical biomedical scientist earns between £21,000 – £35,000-a-year, with a small minority above that figure. They will have a university degree, plus additional post-graduate training.

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