South Tees hospital staff to ballot over strike action

James Cook University Hospital
Image caption Employees at both James Cook University and Friarage hospitals are affected by the error

Employees at Teesside health trust are to ballot over strike action as a "last resort" following unpaid wages dating back to 2009.

About 50 staff in the sterile service units at two hospitals were told they were underpaid due to a computer error.

Unison said it amounted to up to £10,000 per person and accused management of "dragging their heels".

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it looked forward to reaching a "satisfactory conclusion".

The 46 staff affected sterilise and repackage surgical instruments at Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital and the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.

'Vital contribution'

Unison said it was with "extreme reluctance" they were taking the steps of industrial action.

One employee, 61-year-old Glynis Dobson, said: "We really don't want to go on strike but we've tried for over a year to resolve this.

"It's our money. We earned it."

Regional secretary Clare Williams said: "The trust should show it values the vital contribution these hardworking people have made and help us resolve this long-running injustice."

A spokesman for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: "We are aware of the issue.

"We have had discussions with unions and staff and we look forward to further dialogue in order to bring this matter to a satisfactory conclusion for both parties."

The ballot of staff begins on Tuesday.

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