Christina McAnea, UNISON Head of Health is reported to have have announced that this is the year to fight over NHS pay and that branches prepare for at least one day of strike action. This statement has been made in the light of employers demands to end incremental pay and a 16% fall in value of NHS wages since 2008.
While we are still waiting the detail of what kind of pay system that would replace incremental pay we should be under no illusions that it will do nything than substantially increase already unbearable pay cuts. Current staff may find themselves losing incremental points worth several hundred pounds a year - every year for the rest of their working life. New starters and people moving to new jobs would be denied tens of thousands of pounds of future wages if spot pay is introduced - unless of course the employers decide to put everyone on the top of their band from day 1!
The health branch AGM voted overwhelmingly to instruct the branch leadership and stewards committees to lead a campaign in the workplace and our communities to defend and improve living standards and to prepare for industrial action. Members voted to support the Branch Committee decision of setting aside an industrial action hardship fund of over £20,000 to provide financial support to members forced into strike action by government and employers.