Trade unionists have called for the resignation of a chief executive at a trust that spent £32,000 fighting a doomed legal battle over pay.

Unite wants Doncaster and Bassetlaw foundation trust chief executive Nigel Clifton to stand down following a row about recruitment and retention premium arrangements linked to Agenda for Change.

Staff went on strike after the trust withheld premium payments to 28 maintenance workers. A tribunal last August then ordered the hospital to pay around£16,500 to each claimant.

Unite regional secretary Davey Hall said: "Nigel Clifton must take responsibility for this charade and hand in his resignation.

'Thousands of pounds wasted'

"We believe the trust wasted thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money on legal costs.

"It caused a strike which could have been avoided and all because senior management refused to accept an agreement which they had no other choice but to accept.

"Unite's action was a resounding victory for our members but unfortunately the trust’s behaviour caused a great deal of unnecessary distress for the workers involved."

The premium was agreed under Agenda for Change, which identified groups of workers within the NHS who were entitled to receive around£3,000 per year backdated to October 2004. This was to bring their pay into line with similar jobs in the private sector and reduce the possibility of labour shortages.

The trust declined to comment.