UNISON today confirms that its members working in the NHS in England will stage a four-hour stoppage between 7am and 11am on Monday 13 October.
This will be followed by four days of action short of strike action between Tuesday 14 and Friday 17 October when members will stop working through their breaks and instead take their breaks.
A strong 68% voted yes for industrial action and 88% to action short of strike action in a ballot which closed on 18 September.
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:
“NHS members don’t take action often or lightly. For many of our members this will be the first time they walk out as the last action over pay was 32 years ago. The NHS runs on the goodwill of its workers, but this Government has shown utter contempt for them.
“We are working with NHS employers to minimise the impact on patients. But it’s not too late for Jeremy Hunt to act to avoid this and we repeat our offer to the government to negotiate with us despite him refusing to meet with health unions about pay.”
Earlier this year, the government decided to ignore the NHS Pay Review Body’s recommendations and instead give a 1% non-consolidated increase only to staff at the top of their incremental scale. Because the award is non-consolidated it will not count towards pension entitlements or shift pay and will be wiped away at the end of March 2016, meaning wages will go back to their April 2013 level.
Jeremy Hunt is persisting in the pretence that he is giving staff a pay rise when in truth he has imposed a continued pay freeze for most NHS staff in England, with a small flat rate sum for around 40% of staff.
There are 10 unions balloting in the NHS over pay and our action will be co-ordinated with them.
Further discussions are taking place about the type of action short of strike action that will take place in the ten ambulance trusts in England and this will be announced at a later date.
UNISON is the UK’s largest health union with 300,000 NHS members in England.