Protest over sick pay plan

Members of health unions outside yesterday's meeting

Members of health unions outside yesterday's meeting

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UNIONS have staged a noisy protest at planned changes to hospital staff contracts.

Around 100 union members took part in a rally outside the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, today.

Unison, Unite and the Royal College of Nursing all voiced their objections to proposals by North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust to abolish enhanced sickness payments.

The trust, which runs hospitals in Hartlepool and Stockton, is proposing to cut extra payments to staff who call in sick while rostered to work unsocial hours, during the night or on weekends, or on bank holidays.

The rally was held to coincide with a board meeting of the hospital trust’s executive.

Many passing drivers honked their horns in support of the protesters and could be clearly heard inside the board meeting,

The contract changes are expected to affect more than 5,000 trust employees.

See tomorrow’s Hartlepool Mail for more.