Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

Posted on 2 November 2012 at 17:33 GMT

Admin staff strike, Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, 1st November 2012, photo by Iain Dalton

Admin staff strike, Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, 1st November 2012, photo by Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

Mid Yorkshire NHS admin staff strike against pay cuts

On Thursday 1st November admin and clerical workers at the three hospitals making up the Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust took strike action in defence of pay.

Management at the hospital wish to balance the massive debt from a rip-off PFI deal that built a new hospital at Pinderfields onto the backs of low paid staff by down-banding them from Grade 4 to Grade 3, which will see staff lose between 1,700 and 2,800 a year. They are also threatened with compulsory redundancies.

Many of the staff, which include medical secretaries, receptionists, ward clerks and others, were on strike for the first time.

Newly elected shop steward for medical secretaries, Andrea Busfield, explained: "We've been pushed to the absolute limit with these proposals.

"The Trust is spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on an outside management consultancy agency, whilst wanting to cut our pay by up to 20%".

"The new PFI hospitals have put the trust in massive debt and we're the ones that are paying the cost for that.

"They are reducing staffing levels by such an extent you wonder who's actually going to be there to staff these buildings and provide patient care".

Admin staff strike, Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, 1st November 2012, photo Iain Dalton

Admin staff strike, Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, 1st November 2012, photo Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

There was a strong turnout on the picket lines, with over 100 across the three sites, and support being brought by several local trade unionists and Socialist Party members at all three sites.

Union reps said that people joined the union that week who were on the picket lines. Others also joined who hadn't at this stage been balloted, who were being asked to cover strikers' jobs and refused to do so.

One person coming out of the hospital described the reception as chaos as high paid managers attempted to cover the jobs, revealing the lies of despised Trust head Stephen Eames "that services were running as normal".

Local support

At the Pinderfields site, several current and former patients supported the picket, offering encouragement and one gave a speech telling the strikers not to give in until they force management back.

Local people are just as angry as the staff at the way the Trust has attacked jobs and services. This is also reflected in the 200-strong demonstration by local people in Dewsbury last Saturday as part of an ongoing campaign against plans to downgrade that hospital, and the recent successful campaign to re-open the A&E ward at Pontefract hospital.

After the picket lines, the strikers came together for an impressive rally in the town hall, where Pinderfields striker Andrea, Unison head of health Christina McAnea, Unison branch secretary Adrian O'Malley and Dewsbury striker Dave Byrom spoke, the latter two both being members of the Socialist Party.

Admin staff strike, Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, rally on 1st November 2012, photo by Iain Dalton

Admin staff strike, Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, rally on 1st November 2012, photo by Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

Andrea and Dave gave powerful arguments about the injustice of these attacks on low paid workers and Dave raised the Unison branch's opposition to the PFI deal, and appealed for further support for the Dewsbury campaign which demands that full services are kept at all three sites.

Adrian highlighted how managers had thought that a low paid, predominantly female workforce would be soft targets for the first round of pay cuts.

He commented on the pettiness of local managers who refused strikers access to the public toilets on the site.

He announced that the Unison branch will be looking to ballot further layers of workers in the Trust, as well as taking an indicative vote of the strikers as to their preparedness to take further strike action themselves in the next few weeks - which received a unanimous yes!

Christina McAnea said that she was "pleased to be part of a union where members are prepared to come out to defend their pay and jobs" and stated that "you've got the best branch secretary you could possibly have to fight this battle".

The regional secretary of Unison, Jim Bell, also said: "Adrian is one of the best, most hardworking branch secretaries".

Admin staff strike, Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, rally on 1st November 2012, photo by Iain Dalton

Admin staff strike, Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, rally on 1st November 2012, photo by Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

For Christina McAnea, this is a change from her cynical declaration at the time of the 30th November strike last year that it was just a mere "damage limitation exercise".

As the attacks on the NHS have become ever more devastating, the union leaders are being made to regret the policy of inaction and concession bargaining over the previous period which has led to a weakening of many health branches as members have left or become inactive in disgust.

To protect their own positions they are being forced to turn to active branches they have tried to silence in the recent past.

Local Socialist Party members will continue campaigning to oppose attacks to our NHS in local areas where we have played a pivotal role, organising meetings of over 100 in Dewsbury as well as the recent demonstration.

With over 13 copies of the Socialist sold to strikers on the day, as well as tens more earlier in the week, there is a growing interest in not just fighting the cuts, but as the cheers and applause for the call for a one-day general strike during the rally showed, for getting rid of this rotten Con-Dem government and fighting for a socialist alternative.

Iain Dalton, West Yorkshire Socialist Party
Admin staff strike, Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, rally on 1st November 2012, photo by Iain Dalton

Admin staff strike, Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, rally on 1st November 2012, photo by Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)


Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


Related links:


triangleWestex workers win increased pay offer in 11th week of strike

triangleMajor funding for flood risk management needed

triangleSouth Yorkshire defeats fire cuts

triangleSouth Yorkshire FBU celebrates halt to cuts

triangleLeeds pensioners occupy BBC to save free TV licenses


triangle1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"

triangleThe Tyneside apprentices' strike during WW2

trianglePlymouth students discuss rent strike

triangleRefuse collection workers strike


triangleMore blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme

triangleTransport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

triangleFurlough cut-off could force millions back to unsafe workplaces


triangleCoronavirus pandemic news in brief

triangleEerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!


triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Role of the community and voluntary sector


triangleDispatches from the front: bosses prepare fresh attacks on NHS

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis



Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan



Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant



Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation



Schools aren't safe



Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!



No return to unsafe construction sites



Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20


Rolls Royce

Strong union response needed against job cuts



Postal workers' action results in double victory for union



Organising to fight for workplace safety



Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive



Johnson claims workplaces safe but HSE cancels inspections



Safe protests against Tory corona chaos continue



Trades council debates workers' political representation

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020