WORKFORCE: Two acute trusts in the North West could face industrial action in their pathology labs.

Union is to ballot its 36 members in the pathology labs of Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust for action, over changes tor antisocial hours payments.

The union says the changes will amount to a 30 per cent income cut for some members and that the trust has not offered staff a long enough transition to the new system.

Unite’s regional officer Keith Hutson said the foundation’s offer of just nine months of transitional payments from 1 October this year before moving them to new rates of antisocial hours payment would cause “undue financial hardship” for his members.

He said his members at East Lancashire Hospitals Trust had also requested to “formally go down the industrial action route” over similar issues.  

A Central Manchester spokesman said at its last meeting with the staff side representatives, “agreement was reached on the offer that was to be put to staff”.

It was “therefore surprising that they have now issued a number of misleading statements, and that there appears to have been a change in their position when the outcome of the ballot has yet to be known”.

East Lancashire said: “A number of offers have been put to the pathology staff and we understand that discussions are on-going between local and regional trade union officials.”