Further action in healthcare assistant pay dispute

Picket line of striking healthcare workers with Unison banners and a colourful sign
Healthcare assistants say they have been working above their pay grade [BBC]

Hundreds of healthcare assistants on Teesside have started a five-day strike in an ongoing dispute over pay.

Members of Unison claim they have carried out unpaid clinical work and are entitled to several years of back pay.

Both North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have said they will pay staff.

However, the pay will only date back to 2021, when the role was clarified by the government.

The latest action is the fourth by Unison members, and the union is calling upon the trusts to negotiate on the appropriate period of back pay.

It says staff were carrying out clinical work, such as taking blood and inserting cannulas, before July 2021.

'Valued and respected'

Clare Williams from Unison said: "All healthcare assistants are asking for is pay justice.

"Many of them have worked for many years above their pay grade and they are saying 'look, we want to be valued and respected, and we want a negotiation with Unison to get an appropriate offer'."

Both trusts said they were "committed" to moving "all eligible staff" up a band, and had been "working closely with trade union colleagues" to develop their offer.

"We are committed to no detriment. No colleagues will lose out," a spokesperson said.

Strikes are take place at the following hospitals:

  • University Hospital of North Tees, Stockton-on-Tees

  • University Hospital of Hartlepool, Hartlepool

  • James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

  • Friarage Hospital, Northallerton

  • Redcar Primary Care Hospital, Redcar

  • East Cleveland Primary Care Hospital, Brotton

  • Friary Community Hospital, Richmond

Patients have been advised to "use services wisely" during the strikes, and the trusts have encouraged people to check on "vulnerable family members and neighbours".

The current action is taking place until 15 June, with a further 48 hours due from Monday 17 June.

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