UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Solidarity with the NHS workers strike!

#Oct13 #NHSPay Monday 13th October will see the first national pay strike in the National Health Service in England for over thirty years. UNISON, RCM, Unite and GMB members across the country will take strike action for 4 hours from 07.00 until 11.00.
   Nurses, Health Care Assistants, Paramedics, Midwives, Occupational Therapists, Porters, Security, Technicians, Administrative and Clerical staff will stand shoulder to shoulder to show their anger at Jeremy Hunt’s decision to single them out for the worst pay settlement in the public sector. Hunt rejected the miserable 1% recommended by the NHS Pay Review Body and instead imposed an unconsolidated 1% only for those on the top point in each pay band.

In effect, nearly 60% of NHS staff will get nothing. Hunt’s sting in the tail is this is a two year settlement which means that at April 2016, the pay rates for all NHS workers will be the same as in 2013.

With a clear mandate for action, health workers will be involved in a week of industrial action. Following the strike on Monday, workers in the NHS will be involved in a variety of activities short of strike.

The government has miscalculated the support for the strike. Last week has seen a growing wave of anger and determination across all health workers to make a stand. UNISON has seen a huge surge in membership with health workers rushing to sign up before Monday’s strike. UNISON branches have been magnificent in harnessing their members’ sense of injustice. All indications are that there will be huge pickets at every major hospital, health centre and ambulance station across the country. Public support has been excellent, with pledges of support being received by health unions from local communities.

This is a battle for the whole nation. Hunt’s actions in squeezing NHS workers’ pay is part of this government’s strategy to destroy our Health Service. The impact is already being felt with NHS Trusts reporting a crisis in staffing levels in all services.

Hunt has thrown down the gauntlet. Health workers have risen to the challenge. Now we all must support them and show our determination to save our NHS. If you are free on Monday make your way to your local hospital and show your support for health workers’ fight for fair pay.