In a long-running salary conflict over pay grade levels, pharmacy aid workers in Tayside are to launch “ongoing” strike action next month.

Since 19 August, the Unite union said it had served an action notice, including an overtime ban.

The union said a method of “faulty” work assessment had resulted in a lower-grade pay for employees than they were entitled to.

NHS Tayside said it remained “committed to achieving a resolution”.

Unite said last month a ballot of pharmacy support employees had resulted in a turnout of 90 percent and showed “overwhelming support” for action.

It also asserted that NHS Tayside had admitted that it had not “followed the job evaluation to its correct conclusion and that employees were not granted the right to appeal.”

Unite said: “Talks have been ongoing between Unite and NHS Tayside for a number of weeks which have resulted in a proposal for an independent appeals process.

“This would require bringing the appeals to be conducted by panel members from the NHS Tayside region who were not involved in the process.

“Despite NHS Tayside’s dedication to continuing discussions in the hope of resolving this problem and the suggestion for an autonomous appeal mechanism, members of Unite want to maintain the right to strike.”

‘Wrathful and frustrated ‘

Susan Robertson, Regional Industrial Officer of Unite, added: “Strike action is obviously not optimal for our employees, patients or their families, but at this moment our employees think that this is their only choice.

“Nevertheless, the devil is in the detail and we would hope that if followed by the letter, the appeal method would stop any action taking place.”

NHS Tayside verified that its intention to take industrial action had been notified by Unite.

Workforce director George Doherty said: “While we are disappointed to receive this correspondence, we have met with representatives of Unite and collectively agreed on a manner forward that will enable us to continue our considerations in order to resolve this continuing problem.

“We stay committed to reaching a partnership resolution through our jointly agreed procedures.”