Staff at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board hospitals working in the sterilisation and disinfection units have described the health board’s pay offer as unsatisfactory and escalated their industrial action. A 48-hour stoppage is scheduled for Wednesday 22 – Thursday 23 February 2017. Non-emergency surgery is likely to be severely disrupted.
Employees are infuriated their claim for pay parity with colleagues doing the same job in other hospitals in Wales has not been taken seriously by the health board despite more than two years of discussions. Action planned for 1 February 2017 was suspended to allow for proper consideration of the board’s offer.
Mark Turner UNISON regional organiser said,
“We want to bring this dispute to a conclusion as swiftly as possible and have suggested a series of compromise proposals to the health board. Strike action planned for early February was suspended in good faith to consider the board’s offer. What the employer presented as a reasonable deal falls well short on making good the additional £1,900 a year people earn at a neighbouring health board doing the same job, with the same responsibilities.
“By selling the deal as something it was not, sterilisation unit workers feel they have been duped by the board. Being treated in such an off-hand manner has made them even angrier and they have decided to escalate their strike action. These healthcare workers just want to be paid what they deserve.”
UNISON has reported that ABMU staff work to an out-of-date job description and the trade union has publicly questioned why the health board showed a desire to resolve a parallel pay dispute with the x-ray departments but lacks the willingness to reach an agreement for the sterilisation and disinfection unit workers.