Government can stop strikes and strengthen NHS if it makes an effort with pay

Ministers would be best advised to concentrate on ending disputes

Responding to ministers’ comments about the government’s continuing refusal to talk to unions about health workers’ pay, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said today (Sunday):

“Ministers should stop making excuses and hiding behind the pay review body. Its recommendation is heavily influenced by government wages policy. 

“The facts are simple. The wage rise given to health workers this year simply hasn’t been enough to stop staff leaving in droves. Without enough employees in the NHS, patients will go on waiting too long for ambulances and for treatment to start.

“Instead of putting plans in place for the strike days, ministers should be concentrating all their efforts on ending the disputes.

“Speaking to unions about improving wages can work wonders as the Scottish government has found. It’s time ministers in Westminster did the same. They should stop talking tough, put a proper pay plan on the table and get the unions in to discuss it.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

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