Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 15:46 UK

Nurses call off threat to strike

Nurses in Derby have called off strike plans after reaching an agreement over pay, union leaders said.

The five-month dispute began after hospital managers announced some staff faced pay cuts through restructuring.

Derby Hospitals Foundation Trust said an agreement with staff had been reached. It has said the restructuring is necessary to save 55m.

Under the deal, the wages of the nurses affected will be protected for up to three years.

'Hard to swallow'

Unison's regional organiser Jenny Flood said members had voted to accept the job offer "reluctantly".

"Whilst no-one would suggest that this is an outcome that gives us all we were seeking, the fact that hardworking people still face a pay cut is hard to swallow," she said.

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) spokesman Tim Baggs said: "The deal that unions has now agreed for their members is the one that the RCN has negotiated on behalf of its members - that is, a commitment by the trust to implement a three-year deal whereby those affected by down-banding would still get an annual pay increase for the period of protected pay."

The RCN had earlier agreed to the same deal with the trust.

Ms Flood said: "The narrow margin and low turnout however reflect both the reluctant acceptance of the changes - and the fact that many Unison members feel that the issue has gone on too long.

She added the final offer was "substantially better than the original proposals made by the trust".




SEE ALSO
Nurses to be balloted over strike
27 Feb 08 |  Derbyshire
Nurse industrial action suspended
18 Jan 08 |  Derbyshire
Union threatens nursing strikes
10 Jan 08 |  Derbyshire

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