Pharmacy workers at NHS Tayside have voted to strike after a long running dispute over pay levels.
The union Unite has served notice to the health body that its pharmacy support workers voted almost unanimously to strike from Monday, August 19.
The fight relates to what Unite calls a flawed job evaluation process which it believes has left the workers being paid lower than they should be.
According to the union NHS Tayside has also admitted that the job evaluation process was not followed through to its rightful conclusion and that members were not given a right to appeal.
A ballot asking the workers if they wanted strike action saw 90% vote in favour of action, including strike action.
Continuous strike action by the support staff will run from August 19 including a ban on overtime working.
Talks have been ongoing between Unite and the health trust for a number of weeks which have resulted in a proposal for an independent appeals process.
This would involve bringing in panel members from outside of the NHS Tayside area who have no involvement in the process to carry out any appeals.
Susan Robertson, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “Our members feel let down, angry, frustrated and exhausted by the NHS job evaluation process and wish to reserve their right to take industrial action.
“Strike action is clearly not ideal for our members, patients or their families, however our members feel this is the only option open to them at this time.”
“However the devil is in the detail and we would hope that the appeals process, if followed to the letter, would halt any action taking place.”
NHS Tayside has stressed that it has contingency plans to deal with issues such as the strike action so it can continue to deliver patient care and treatment across its sites.
George Doherty, NHS Tayside director of workforce, said: “We have received notice from Unite the union to advise us of the intention of pharmacy support workers in NHS Tayside to take industrial action starting on August 19.
“While we are disappointed to receive this correspondence, we have met with Unite representatives and we have jointly agreed a way forward which will allow us to continue our considerations with the aim of resolving this ongoing issue.
“We remain committed to achieving a resolution in partnership through our jointly-agreed processes.”