Female hospital staff in Cumbria to receive compensation this week

Female hospital workers who won a landmark equal pay battle in Cumbria are due to get compensation cheques of up to £8,000 in their pay packets this week.

Union officials said the cash is the first “tangible proof” of the legal victory the women won earlier this year.

The payouts came after years of wrangling with NHS bosses at North Cumbria Hospitals NHS trust, which runs West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven and Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary.

Back in April, 1,500 female hospital workers accepted an offer which will compensate them for up to 14 years of NHS pay rates which had unfairly favoured men. Some will eventually receive up to £240,000.

Shirley Chipperfield, HR director at North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said earlier in the year that the payouts had caused problems with staff morale, performance and retention, as well as financial difficulties for the hospital trust involved.

Unison official Liz Twist said today: “We’re glad people are finally seeing some tangible proof of our victory, but it’s not a lottery win. It is money that these women were entitled to and it represents reward for the real value of their work.”

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