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Industrial action

Pharmacy support workers vote in favour of strike action over pay dispute

Every respondent to a union ballot in NHS Tayside was in favour of taking industrial action over the pay dispute.

Unite the Union Twitter

Source: Nic Bunce /

In a ballot with a 90% turnout, every member was in favour of taking industrial action and action short of a strike

The vast majority of pharmacy support workers in NHS Tayside have voted in favour of industrial action following a dispute over pay, Unite the Union has said.

The union balloted its members in June 2019 after claims that pharmacy support staff were being paid according to a lower pay grade than they should be.

The ballot had a 90% response rate, with 100% of the responses in favour of taking industrial action and “action short of a strike”.

Susan Robertson, the Union’s regional industrial officer, said: “In a turnout out of 90%, every single Unite member voted for strike action, and action short of a strike.

“This result illustrates the deep frustrations and anger our members feel at their mistreatment by NHS Tayside.

“Pharmacy support workers are hardworking skilled professionals who provide a dedicated and crucial service to patients, and they deserve to have that properly recognised.”

Unite added in a statement that, after having met with senior management at NHS Tayside on 28 June 2019, “degrees of progress were made” and talks would reconvene on 4 July 2019.

Grant Archibald, chief executive of NHS Tayside, said it “was a productive meeting”.

“It is always the intention of the board in these ongoing discussions to protect services for our patients, work in partnership to address any areas of concern and seek to avoid industrial action,” he added. 

“We look forward to meeting with Unite representatives again this week.”

Depending on the outcome of the meeting on 4 July 2019, Unite said it would either call off the industrial action or “continuous action” would start from 22 July 2019.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206743

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