Unite GS joins Blackburn biomedical scientists on picket line

Unite leader Sharon Graham says Unite will be unrelenting in defending members’ jobs, pay and conditions

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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham joined Blackburn biomedical scientists striking over pay grades on Tuesday (September 28).

Unite represents 21 biomedical scientists at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust who have been on strike since May. The workers are owed back pay of between several hundred pounds to £8,000, after managers failed to honour a 2019 agreement to upgrade their pay.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “I joined the Blackburn and Burnley Trust scientists on their picket line today because, quite simply, the Trust management reneged on an agreed pay deal for these workers. Now it seems they are determined to save face, at any cost, by obstinately refusing to get back to the negotiating table.”

Unite estimates that the amount the Trust will spend on overtime for non-union staff and extra managers to try and break the strike will reach more than £150,000. In comparison it would cost around £50,000 to pay the striking workers what was agreed.

Sharon Graham added, “Unite is there to defend the jobs, pay and conditions of its members. When their living standards are under attack, Unite will be unrelenting in defending their rights – including the biomedical scientists at the Blackburn and Burnley NHS Trust”.

Sharon Graham’s stand with the biomedical scientists come as a poll revealed that 67 per cent of UK adults support unions taking action to push back against employer abuses.

By Barckley Sumner

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