ADMINISTRATION staff at Dewsbury District Hospital (DDH) began a three-day strike yesterday over potential pay cuts.

Unison members at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs DDH (inset) as well as Pinderfields in Wakefield and Pontefract Hospital, voted to strike after 74 employees were sent redundancy letters earlier this month.

No compulsory redundancies are expected after a number of staff agreed to take voluntary redundancies.

But staff – many of whom are in low paid jobs – fear they will be forced to accept pay cuts of up to £2,800 a year.

The trust must save £24m by April 2013, but insists the cuts will not affect patient services.

About 40 staff manned the picket lines at DDH yesterday.

Adrian O’Malley, Secretary of the Mid Yorkshire Health Branch of Unison said: “Members will not only have to take massive pay cuts but they’ll be expected to do the work of the people who have left.

“Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust are not negotiating. They have imposed this and they have been totally unreasonable.”

Graham Briggs, from the trust, said: “We have consulted with staff on the changes and we remain open to discussion.

“However, we cannot escape the reality of our current position. In order to meet our financial challenge we have to reduce our pay bill which is around 70% of our costs. We also have an obligation to make sure we provide the best value for money.”