Strike could still happen

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SCIENTISTS at Wigan hospitals have delayed plans to strike despite a nine to one vote in favour of industrial action.

Workers in Wrightington Wigan Leigh NHS Foundation Trust’s pathology department voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action over changes to working conditions and pay.

The staff, who are employed by Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, conduct all diagnostic tests (such as blood and urine samples) at all three Wigan hospitals.

And should they vote to take industrial action, it could bring all procedures other than emergencies to a halt.

In all, more than 60 staff from Wigan and Salford

Unite union members were asked to vote on whether to take industrial action last week and following the ballot, strike action was originally planned for three days covering Tuesday September 4 - Thursday September 6.

However, Union officials have said that while strike action could still happen, further negotiations are ongoing with health chiefs following the offer of a new deal for staff.

Unite regional officer, Gary Owen said: “The staff voted nine to one in favour of industrial action with a turnout of over 80 per cent over the bank holiday weekend, so it shows the level of feeling towards these issues.

“However, following original plans to strike for three days next week, we have been presented with a new deal for staff by the health trust so we have agreed to re-enter negotiations.

“This does not mean industrial action will not happen as ultimately it is up to the staff to decide on the offer put forward by SRFT and WWL, and we’re taking a pragmatic approach by agreeing to look at this and then decide if we are still going ahead with strike plans.

“There is a possibility that we could delay the strike by a week as we have three weeks in which we can take industrial action should the staff still wish too following negotiations.”