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NHS Strike Action "Rock Solid"

Monday, November 24, 2014

GMB Members Rock Solid Support For Second Wave Action In NHS

If the Health Secretary refuses to negotiate we will have no alternative but to work alongside all health unions to announce a rolling programme of strike action says GMB.

GMB members took part in the strike action in the NHS across England & Northern Ireland today (24th November) to demand that the Secretary of State for Health stop burying his head in Whitehall and meet with GMB and all health unions to resolve the dispute.

The four-hour stoppage is being followed by action short of a strike from 11.01am (12.01pm in Northern Ireland) on Monday to 23.59 on Sunday 30 November, with an overtime ban in the ambulance service and other NHS employees working to their contracted hours.

This is the second week of industrial action in the NHS in an ongoing dispute over pay. The previous week of action involved a four-hour strike on 13 October and action short of a strike on 14-17 October.

GMB conducted an official ballot of 22,000 members in the NHS in England and Northern Ireland. There was overwhelming support for industrial action against the government and employers’ pay policies.

The pay offer for NHS staff in England is an unconsolidated 1% pay award in 2014, restricted to staff not eligible for incremental progression and the same approach in 2015. This goes against the recommendation of the independent NHS Pay Review Body for a 1% consolidated pay rise for all staff.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer for the NHS said "Reports from across the country are that the second wave of strike action by GMB members has been rock solid.

Members not on shift during the four hour stoppage stood in solidarity and supported the picket lines in huge numbers. The response is a testament to how NHS staff feel about the injustice in the pay offer. GMB members are determined to get Government to listen. The numbers of unions taking part in this week strike has also increased.

Public support is growing for the NHS dispute. The NHS is under attack and NHS staff pay is under attack. Why should the government ignore an independent pay review body's recommendation of 1% for NHS staff, whilst accepting a 11% recommendation for MPs.

Political will in Wales and Scotland has led to NHS staff settling their pay disputes, yet we have a Westminster government wielding the axe over NHS Staff and adding to the NHS crisis, that's irresponsible.

GMB members make up a large part of the ambulance service. It is a credit to the dedication of these front line that urgent life threatening calls continued to be responded to during this dispute because unlike the government, frontline emergency staff recognise the value of patient safety and priorities.

GMB members are demanding that Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health gets around the table and discuss how this dispute can be resolved. GMB member’s message to him is simple - the second wave of strike action is stronger than the first, so if the Health Secretary refuses to negotiate we will have no alternative but to work alongside all health unions to announce a rolling programme of strike action.”

End

Contact: Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer on 07841 181656 or GMB Regional Officers:

Birmingham & West Midands Pauline Hinks on 07809 617 761, London & East of England Tony Hughes on 07738 958 142 or Steve Sweeney on 07703 469403, East Midlands, Les Dobbs on 07966 327 967, North East and Cumbria, Chris Jukes on 07870 176 733, North West, Ray Carrick on 07874 018412, Northern Ireland, Michael Mulholland on 07974 018 413, South East, Nick Day on 07717 510 047, Wales & South West, Paul Gage on 07980 753 117 and Yorkshire, Joan Keane on 07958 156841 or GMB Press Office: 07921 289880 or 07974 251823.

 

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