Biomedical scientists working at hospitals in Presotn and Chorley have staged a 24 hour strike.
The 24 hour strike, by around 30 staff at Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital, started at 8am yesterday.
Union bosses said the dispute centred around “forced implementation of working conditions which do not provide a robust service.”
They say the changes mean the staff, who examine patients’ blood samples, could be called into work at a moment’s notice and with insufficient staff to adequately cover shifts.
Staff gathered outside the Royal Preston Hospital in Fulwood, Preston with banners and flags yesterday morning.
Unite regional officer Steve Davies said staff had taken the decision to strike because the hospital Trust isn’t taking their concerns seriously.
He added: “It was a reasonably good turnout at both hospitals.
“We must have had about 12 picketers at Preston, we had to split them up. We had six on one entrance and six on another.
“Somebody came down from Leeds to support us as well, they have done something similar.”
Mr Davies said talks will continue to resolved the problems, and there could be further strike action.
Ahead of the strike action Karen Swindley, Workforce and Education Director for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We will make arrangements to maintain effective services during the period of industrial action and ensure patient safety is in no way compromised.”
She added: “In the past two years we have maintained dialogue with biomedical scientist staff and whilst we have made good progress and resolved a significant number of issues, there remains a dispute over rates of pay which are nationally agreed.
“We are unable to agree different rates of pay for out-of-hours working for this staff group, as that would be inconsistent with the terms and conditions for other shift workers, such as nurses, who are paid in accordance with standard, national terms and conditions.
“We will continue to work with the biomedical scientist staff and the trade union to resolve any further issues.”