NHS workers in South East to go on strike

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NHS workers across the South East are planning a mass walkout on Thursday January 29 as part of an ongoing pay dispute.

UNISON South East members will strike for 12 hours between 9am and 9pm next week in protest over the government’s decision to reject the one per cent pay rise for NHS staff, which was recommended to be approved by the independent Pay Review Body in 2014.

They also claim most staff will be denied a pay increase in 2015/16.

Ambulance staff are set to walk out from noon until midnight on Thursday.

Staff will continue working their contracted hours without taking on any unpaid overtime between Friday January 30 and Tuesday February 24 as part of the action.

This will be followed a 24-hour strike on Wednesday February 25.

UNISON members along with workers from 11 other Trade Unions have already taken two four-hour stoppages in October and November.

Tony Jones UNISON South East Regional head of health said:“We warned months ago that this dispute is here to stay unless the government and NHS employers are prepared to negotiate with us.

“We decided not to take strike action over the Christmas period as services were already at breaking point at this time. Our members are demonstrating their concern for patient safety. I only wish the employers and government would do the same.

“Our members’ pay has been frozen or held down for the past five years and there is no end in sight. On average, they have lost around ten per cent in the value of their pay over the life of this parliament.

“We now have no option but to escalate and plan for longer strikes. The anger among health workers has reached levels where they are now ready to walk out for 24 hours. NHS staffs have been singled out by this coalition government for the worst treatment across the public sector.

“All we are asking is for fair and decent pay for NHS workers.”