This morning I joined junior doctors on the picket line in Brighton, along with hundreds of delegates from our health conference.
We were there because their fight is our fight – and we’ll win it together.
Jeremy Hunt says he’s not “itching for a fight”, but across the health service, he’s shown that’s exactly what he’s doing.
Take ambulance staff, for example. They were made promises on pay by Jeremy Hunt just last year, and yet he hasn’t kept them. Instead he’s ignored their calls for a salary they deserve, which is why we announced yesterday that they could be moving towards industrial action unless Jeremy Hunt keeps his word.
Perhaps the health secretary doesn’t realise how important trust is for working people negotiating with their employers. But as Britain’s largest health union, we’re looking on with real concern at his behaviour, imposing contracts that junior doctors don’t want and failing to deliver on his commitments to ambulance workers.
Fundamentally, junior doctors and ambulance workers are saying the same thing – work with us, negotiate in good faith and let’s find a way through this that means good services, fair pay and decent working conditions.
But if Jeremy Hunt can’t even do something that basic, and wants instead to impose conditions from on high, then – obviously and necessarily – there will be further consequences.