Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS workers vote to strike

Bradford Royal Infirmary
Image caption The strike action could take place in July, the union said

Staff at Bradford hospitals have voted to take strike action over plans to set up a new company to run the facilities.

Bradford Teaching Hospital Trust wants to transfer workers such as porters and cleaners to a subsidiary company.

It said "patient safety and levels of care" would not be hit "by any industrial action".

Natalie Ratcliffe, of the Unison union, said: "Our members are very angry. We want them to scrap the plans."

Some 97% of votes cast by members were in favour of strike action at Bradford Royal Infirmary, St Luke's, and Shipley Hospitals, and three community hospitals at Eccleshill, West Wood Park and Westbourne Green.

A walkout involving more than 300 members, lasting up to seven days, could start in July, the union said.

There are about 600 staff in the estates, facilities and clinical engineering services affected by the transfer.

The trust said all essential services, such as emergency surgery, would continue as normal and setting up a wholly-owned subsidiary was the only model "to protect our staff and patient care" and all staff would have their terms and conditions protected.

"The trust is not privatising services," it added.

Ms Ratcliffe, the union's regional organiser, said: "It is an attack on lower-paid workers - lessening of conditions, losing of sickness rights."

She said the union and trust were due to talk on Monday.

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