UNISON ballots 350,000 NHS workers in England for strike action over pay

Strike action ballot papers are being despatched today to 350,000 UNISON NHS workers in England.   Nurses, paramedics, therapists, cooks,cleaners, healthcare assistants and admin staff are being asked to vote yes for industrial action in a dispute over pay.  The ballot opens on Thursday 28 August and closes on 18 September. 

The ballot is in response to the Government’s decision to ignore the independent NHS Pay Review Body recommendation to award a 1% pay rise to all NHS staff. Instead 60% of NHS staff, including 70% of nurses, have been denied a pay award this year.

Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said: 

“We all know the NHS relies on the good will of its staff.  NHS workers have been badly hit by the rise in the cost of living and the Government’s move is mean and unfair. 

“Voting for strike action is never an easy decision – even more so for NHS workers who spend their lives caring for people. But the Government’s refusal to give the vast majority any pay increase this year is a slap in the face. So we are asking our members to vote yes to turn their anger into action.

“Staff are on average 10% worse off than when the coalition came to power and this means their families are suffering and morale is hitting rock bottom.  A well motivated workforce saves lives so we need to cherish and support our NHS staff who work day in day out caring for others.”