South Tees hospital workers to be balloted over industrial action

UNISON is to ask workers at South Tees Hospital Trust if they would be prepared to take industrial action in a dispute over unpaid wages.

For more than a decade workers in the Trust’s sterile services unit – who clean, sterilise and repackage surgical instruments – have missed out on holiday payments due to a computer error, says UNISON

The mistake meant the lowest paid staff in the Trust, who earn around £17,000 a year, have been continually underpaid. Some are owed more than ten years’ of payments, which could add up to almost £10,000.

UNISON has battled with hospital managers to recover all the money owed, but although the Trust acknowledges its error, the workers have only been offered payments going back three years.

Clare Williams, UNISON Regional Secretary said, “These health employees deserve to be paid every penny they are owed. They have worked hard for this money and it’s with a heavy heart that we’re putting forward the option of industrial action.

“The Trust should show it values the vital contribution these hardworking people have made and help us resolve this long-running injustice.”

– The ballot of staff opens on 28 May and closes on 17 June

– Staff in sterile services are paid £17,652 per year and are the lowest paid staff in the Trust.