Abertawe Bro Morgannwg's x-ray staff vote for strike

Sterile utensils in a hospital theatre Image copyright Thinkstock

Staff in the sterilisation and x-ray departments at some hospitals in south Wales are due to go on strike.

The action will affect non-emergency surgery at Morriston and Singleton in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Princess of Wales in Bridgend.

Unison members "voted overwhelmingly" for the walkout in a row over pay with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg health board, officials have said.

The health board said it was working with Unison to "resolve concerns".

The trade union insists the affected members want "pay parity with colleagues doing the same job in other hospitals in Wales" and say workers have "not been taken seriously by the health board".

The health board said in a statement 500 people worked in the impacted departments, of whom 128 staff were the affected grades.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg said not all of them were Unison members and they understood "in total 72 members voted in favour of strike action".

The earliest date a strike can take place is 18 January.

'Inferior' pay rates

Mark Turner, Unison's organiser at the health board, said: "Staff at the hospitals are so angry because they are being treated as second-class citizens.

"They cannot understand why their health board values their work less than peers doing exactly the same job with the same responsibilities elsewhere in Wales."

Unison claims "out of date job description and inferior rates of pay" means affected staff were on a band below workers in similar jobs elsewhere in Wales.

An Abertawe Bro Morgannwg statement said: "We are sorry our continuing discussions with Unison have not been able to resolve our staff's concerns.

"ABMU is fully committed to continuing its partnership work with Unison to resolve these concerns and are meeting with them early next week.

"In the meantime, we would like to reassure patients should strike action go ahead we will be working to ensure any disruption to services are minimal."

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