Medical secretaries in Scotland are set to reject a national framework offer on their re-grading dispute despite acceptance being recommended by their own union.
Carolyn Leckie, Unison branch secretary at North Glasgow University Hospitals trust, where 300 secretaries staged a three-day walk-out last week, says the proposed pay increase fails to meet secretaries' demands for the introduction of a 'proper' career structure.
Members across Scotland are currently going through a consultative ballot on proposals drawn up by Unison's health committee and trust bosses. It would give staff a 7.84 per cent rise this year as part of a 22 per cent increase over three years and also be binding on trusts.
But Ms Leckie told HSJ: 'Certainly, medical secretaries across Scotland will reject the national framework that has been put together because this is not about pay. It is about providing a proper career structure, and that is not what this ballot is about.'
She said secretaries wanted an unconditional upgrade from administrative and clerical grade three to grade four, with point-topoint assimilation.
Despite the length of time the medical secretaries' dispute has rumbled on, Ms Leckie said she was confident a solution would be reached: 'I am optimistic that managers will soon recognise the valuable work they do, especially during this strike.' But she did warn that the strike action was likely to spread to other Scottish trusts if management didn't move on the issue soon.
A spokesperson for Unison said it expected Scottish secretaries to form their own judgements on the package it was putting forward but did not expect them to reject it. The results should be know later this month.
North Glasgow University Hospitals trust said it was 'disappointed' that its own medical secretaries had resorted to strike action, accusing them of 'pre-empting' its union's consultative process.