THOUSANDS of hospital staff will be balloted from today (Friday) on strike action over pay cuts.
Unison will be consulting their 3,000 members at the Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust for the next month.
A vote for industrial action could see all non-emergency work at Dewsbury Hospital curtailed for the duration of any strike.
It is the latest twist in a dispute over plans to cut the wages of 74 clerical workers by up to £2,800 a year.
Letters were sent by the trust in January telling staff to accept the pay cut or face being made redundant.
Talks broke down earlier this year after nine days of strike action rocked the trust from last September.
Unison, who claim a bid to resume talks this week was rebuffed, are now balloting all members over an escalation of industrial action.
Jim Bell, Unison’s regional secretary, said: “We informed the trust on Monday of our intention to ballot all our members.
“We told them that if they had anything to say, now was the time to say it, before any further action.
“But the trust said they had already made their final offer.
“Either they don’t appreciate the seriousness of the situation, or they don’t care.”
Mid-Yorkshire’s director of human resources, Graham Briggs, said changes to pay were needed to deal with the trust’s huge debts.
He added: “To do that we must reduce our pay bill.
“This is the only way we can secure services for the long term and make the best use of public funds.”