29 January: action for branches

Health members are less than two weeks away from the next strike action in England – 12 hours on Thursday 29 January – and the beginning of the longest period of action short of strike action ever in the NHS.

We need our branches and activists to talk to members about the action and encourage as many people as possible to take part.

All relevant UNISON members should take the action, apart from those working under emergency cover arrangements providing life and limb cover, who have been exempted by their branch.

While the dispute continues over the government’s refusal to pay the NHS Pay Review Body’s recommended 1% pay rise to everyone in England, the department of Health has now submitted evidence to the PRB saying unsocial hours’ payments to staff are too generous and asking for these to be cut.

UNISON warned of threats to unsocial hours payments based on the letter from Jeremy Hunt to the PRB last year.

Staff have not had a proper pay rise and could now face significant losses on their unsocial hours.

The message for members is clear: “Enough is enough, it’s time to take action – you can’t afford not to.”

We are asking branches, activists and members to take a number of steps to build for successful industrial action and build pressure on the government to settle.

  • Add mobile numbers and email addresses to membership records so you can stay up to date through texts and emails via  my.unison .
  • Sign to the Our NHS Tthunderclap via Twitter – this will send out a simultaneous message of support to NHS workers on the morning of January 29, half an hour before the start of the strike. Sign up for Thunderclap.
  • Make sure colleagues know about the proposals to cut unsocial hours.  Unsocial hours payments under threat .
  • Contact your MP – there  arenew model emails available online, so if  you have emailed your MP before, please email them again about the upcoing action and the reasons why they should support the NHS and their local NHS staff. General public email to MPs. NHS staff email to MPs.

Get busy on social media – and keep an eye on the union’s own accounts:  UNISON Facebook UNISON Twitter UNISON health FacebookUNISON health Twitter.


Resources for activists

You can download an organiser’s toolkit with useful resources to use in emails, newsletters, ward walks and one to one conversations with members.

 Health action: organiser’s toolkit