Healthcare workers at the Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral will continue to strike for two days this week, after an ongoing pay dispute.

Strike action took place last Tuesday (16 April) and Wednesday (17 April) and are expected to continue this Tuesday and Wednesday.

In a statement by their union, Unite, they have claimed that theatre recovery practitioners are being wrongly graded and underpaid.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said that it is a “disgrace” that an NHS employer is refusing to acknowledge their hard work.

We spoke to an admin clerk, who wished to stay anonymous. She supported her colleagues’ strike action, and said:

“The theatre nurses are doing the work of a higher band, but it seems like the hospital just isn’t willing to give them more money.

“They’re working all the hours that they can, sometimes it’s just them and the patients in the recovery bay – no doctors. So I think they should be in a higher band.”

Unite regional officer Derek Jones added:

“Our members are totally fed up and justifiably so having not been paid the right wage for the work they are doing.

“The strike action will inevitably cause delays and disruption with surgery at the hospital but this dispute is entirely of the trust’s own making.

“It has been given every opportunity to resolve this dispute and failed to do so.”

A Wirral University Teaching Hospital spokesperson said:

“The Trust has not refused to acknowledge the contribution of these staff members, nor have we failed to negotiate. There is an agreed process for reviewing banding and unfortunately Unite members have declined to participate in that process to date.

“As our aim is to resolve the dispute, we have offered further flexible alternative options for staff to provide evidence of work at a higher grade. It is therefore disappointing that strike action is being taken.

“We met with Unite last week and have a further meeting scheduled this week. Those talks are ongoing and we remain hopeful that a solution can be found.

“Comprehensive arrangements have been put in place by the Trust to prepare for this industrial action and as such there have been no delays or disruptions to our patients.”


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