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Why NHS staff were striking outside Burnley hospital yesterday

Staff are continuing to strike outside East Lancashire hospitals this week in an ongoing dispute over pay.

Biomedical scientists at East Lancashire hospitals parked themselves outside Burnley General Hospital on Thursday in a row over owed back pay ranging from several hundred pound to £8,000.

Unite the Union, which represents the 21 striking scientists said that a further month of strike action will be held from 21 June to 28 July, following the current strike action that started on 31 May.

Lancashire Telegraph: Staff were striking outside Burnley Hospital on Thursday

Unite deputy regional secretary Debbie Brannan said: “If the dispute is not settled by July 28, we will reballot for strike action that could see this dispute go into the autumn.”

Operational Director of human resources and organisational development for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, Kate Quinn, said: “This action is the latest phase of an ongoing dispute between the Trust and some of our Biomedical Scientists, which has been a long and difficult process for all involved.

“In ​May 2019, a collective grievance was raised by some of our Biomedical scientists in relation to their pay banding under the Agenda for Change NHS grading and pay system.

“This initiated a thorough evaluation of the roles and responsibilities of the people involved and it was agreed that it was fair and appropriate that they should be rebanded to a higher pay grade.

Lancashire Telegraph: Staff were striking outside Burnley Hospital on Thursday

“Those colleagues were subsequently upgraded from a Band 5 to a Band 6 in October 19 and they received back pay up to the date the grievance was raised, in line with our contractual obligations under Agenda for Change.

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“This ensures a fair and equitable system for anyone going through a similar process.

“The Trust also agreed at the time that any claims for further back pay would be dealt with on an individual basis​ and this was done, resulting in the Trust determining that no further back pay was due.

“An appeal against the outcome was lodged and an appeals process was undertaken. Supported by our staff-side colleagues, the outcome of this upheld that no further pay was owed.

“Thanks to the contingency measures put in place, urgent tests have continued to be provided during this course of action.

Lancashire Telegraph: Staff were striking outside Burnley Hospital on Thursday

“These measures will continue to be in place to ensure that patient safety remains uncompromised.

“The wellbeing of our workforce is also of the utmost importance and we are supporting all of our colleagues who are directly or indirectly affected by the industrial action.

“Of course, we are open to further discussions with colleagues and staff-side representatives.

“However our position remains firm and we will not be offering any additional payment.”