Pharmacy support staff to stage 'continuous' strike action
The NHS Tayside workers are taking industrial action over a 'flawed job evaluation process'.
Pharmacy support workers in Tayside are to stage "continuous" strike action in a long-running dispute over pay grades.
Unite served notice of industrial action - including an overtime ban - to begin on Monday, August 19.
The union claim that a "flawed job evaluation process" has led to staff being paid at a lower grade "than they should be".
It also claims that the health board has admitted that the process was not "followed through to its rightful conclusion and that members were not given a right of appeal".
NHS Tayside said it is "disappointed" over the announcement and hopes to resolve the issue.
In a statement, Unite said a ballot of pharmacy support workers last month had resulted in a 90% turnout and showed "overwhelming support" for action.
Unite said: "Talks have been ongoing between Unite and NHS Tayside for a number of weeks which have resulted in a proposal for an independent appeals process.
"This would involve bringing in panel members from outwith the NHS Tayside area that have had no involvement in the process, to conduct the appeals.
"Despite the commitment from NHS Tayside for talks to continue in the hope of resolving this issue and the proposal for an independent appeals process, Unite members wish to keep the right to strike on the table during these talks to focus attention on reaching a positive outcome."
'Our members feel let down, angry, frustrated and exhausted by the NHS job evaluation process and wish to reserve their right to take industrial action.'Susan Robertson, Unite regional industrial officer
Susan Robertson, Unite regional industrial officer, added: "Our members feel let down, angry, frustrated and exhausted by the NHS job evaluation process and wish to reserve their right to take industrial action.
"Strike action is clearly not ideal for our members, patients or their families, however our members feel this is the only option open to them at this time.
"However the devil is in the detail and we would hope that the appeals process, if followed to the letter, would halt any action taking place."
NHS Tayside confirmed it had received notice from Unite of its intention to take industrial action and said it was "committed to achieving a resolution".
George Doherty, NHS Tayside director of workforce, said: "We have received notice from Unite the Union to advise us of the intention of pharmacy support workers in NHS Tayside to take industrial action starting on Monday, August 19, 2019.
"While we are disappointed to receive this correspondence, we have met with Unite representatives and we have jointly agreed a way forward which will allow us to continue our considerations with the aim of resolving this ongoing issue.
"We remain committed to achieving a resolution in partnership through our jointly-agreed processes."