Hundreds of thousands of NHS staff struck on October 13th.  The strike was strongly supported by porters, cleaners, admin and clerical staff.  Many clinical grades including nurses and midwives joined the strike without hurting patients as managers ran reduced services (Xmas day cover) and redeployed from non-essential areas.   No Unison members were needed to cross picket lines for emergency cover.  Close to 300 staff attended picket lines at Oxfordshire hospitals, with many more joining the strike.

Now the dispute has grown with more unions joining the fight and holding joint action.  13 NHS unions will be striking between 7 am and 11 am on Monday 24th November against ongoing attacks on NHS pay that have seen wages fall by an average of 10% in the last 4 years.  The aim of the strike is to win a wage rise for all this year and an above inflation pay rise next year.

The mood for the strike has sharpened as a result of the government making it clear it wants to cut unsocial hours payments as part of next year's pay settlement that will cut wages for shift workers, with some losing thousands of pounds.  This comes at a time when many more staff are expected to work evenings and weekends - but the government wants the unsopcial hours for no extra pay.

Unison calls on all members in the NHS to stand with members striking on Nov 24th and standing up to a government committed to wrecking the NHS with cuts and privatisation.

There will be pickets at the following locations and members are asked to join the picket lines at:

  • John Radcliffe hospital  1.  Headley Way road entrance  OX3 7SS  2.  Ostler Road entrance  OX3 9BH
  • Nuffield Orthopaedic centre OX3 7LD 1. Windmill Road entrance   2.  Old Road entrance
  • Churchill Hospital will be located junction of Churchill and Roosevelt drives OX3 7LF
  • Warneford Hospital Main gate on Roosevelt Drive OX3 7JX, plus overflow carpark and side gate entrance on Warneford lane
  • Littlemore Hospital main gate and Oxford clinic entrance OX4 4XN
  • Horton General hospital - Hightown Road entrance
  • Wantage hospital main gate
  • Abingdon hospital main gate
  • Wallingford hospital main gate
  • Witney Hospital main entrance
  • Boundary Brook House

Download strike bulletin 2

Download strike bulletin 3

Members from the following unions will be participating: UNISON, Royal College of Midwives (RCM), Union of Construction,Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT), Society of Radiographers (SoR), British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT), GMB, Unite the Union, Managers in Partnership (MiP), Prison Officers Association (POA), Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA), British Dietetic Association (BDA)

Download strike poster to display in your work area

UNISON has confirmed that its members working in the NHS in England will stage a four-hour stoppage between 7am and 11am on Monday 24 November.  This will be followed by a week of action short of strike action between Tuesday 25 and Sunday 30 November when members will work to rule and not do any unpaid overtime.

A recent Income Data Services (IDS) survey for NHS trade unions revealed that increased workload, low pay, constant restructures and the stresses of the job are among the reasons why two thirds (66%) of NHS workers have considered quitting.

Christina McAnea, UNISON head of health and chair of the NHS staff side trade unions, said: "For many in the NHS, last month’s strike was a first. The next industrial action will be bigger as more unions will be joining it. Jeremy Hunt needs to listen to NHS workers who feel this Government is treating them with contempt.

 "NHS workers are overworked and underpaid. Most patients would be shocked to know that one in five of the NHS workers who care for them need to do a second job just to survive and many have to borrow money every month to make ends meet or resort to foodbanks."

On Monday healthworkers across England united to fight the government attacks on NHS pay.  Nurses, porters, midwives, ambulance crews, cooks, cleaners, receptionist, medical secretaries, technicians, estates and many others joined the strike, with many thousands taking part in pickets of their workplaces.

In Oxford over 300 people took part in pickets at the JRII, Churchill, Horton, NOC, Warneford, Abigndon, Litlemore, and Wallingford hospitals, with additional pickets at East Oxford health centre and Manzil Way offices in East Oxford.

Now we have 4 days of working to rule where UNISON is calling on members to take their breaks and to leave work on time.  NHS staff are estimated to give tens of millions of hours of unpaid labour each year - yet their pay is shrinking!

 


Up to 500,000 NHS staff in Unison, Unite, GMB and Royal College of Midwives will be on strike between 7 am and 11 am this coming Monday 13th October.

Striking staff will be standing up to a government that has cut NHS wages by 10% and is wrecking the NHS with cuts and privatisation.  Not content with years of pay freezes, the government now wants to cut unsocial hours pay.  Enough is enough.

Everyone who wants to defend the NHS and stop the fall in living standards should join the strike on Monday.

The Oxford University Trust is claiming that certain exemptions from strike action have been agreed with UNISON. This is not the case.  Members do NOT need to phone Firstcare to report their absence nor do they need to tell their managers they are striking.

Please would ALL members employed by Oxford Health Trust, Oxford University Hospitals Trust, and Southern Health Trust,  proceed to strike action 7am - 11am as the strike ballot mandates.

There will be pickets at the following locations and members are asked to join the picket lines at:

  • John Radcliffe hospital  1.  Headley Way road entrance  OX3 7SS  2.  Ostler Road entrance  OX3 9BH
  • Nuffield Orthopaedic centre OX3 7LD 1. Windmill Road entrance   2.  Old Road entrance
  • Churchill Hospital will be located junction of Churchill and Roosevelt drives OX3 7LF
  • Warneford Hospital Main gate on Roosevelt Drive OX3 7JX, plus overflow carpark and side gate entrance on Warneford lane  
  • Littlemore Hospital main gate and Oxford clinic entrance OX4 4XN
  • Horton General hospital - Hightown Road entrance
  • Wantage hospital main gate
  • Abingdon hospital main gate
  • Wallingford hospital main gate

Pickets are shown on the map here  

In the run up to the October 13th NHS wide strike Oxfordshire Unison health branch is producing strike bulletins to keep members informed of preparations for the strike.

The first bulletin can be downloaded from the link below and explains why we are striking, and also provides answers to questions about the rights of staff on strike, financial support for strikers, and arrangements for emergency cover.

Download strike bulletin No1.

Download strike poster

Future bulletins will include contacts for Unison stewards for advice and locations of picket lines which all members are encouraged to respect and support. Pickets will run from before 7 am until 11 am on 13th October, and will be for all unions involved in the action.  Please make arrangements now to be available to help picket your local workplace and let us know where you will be.  If you are worried about emergency cover then the best place to be is on the picket line where stewards can direct you if management request emergency support (Unison did not recieve requests in the pensions strike as local emergency services were covered without requests to Unison for dispensation for members to work).

To make the strike as effective as possible Unison is looking for contacts in all wards and departments to help coordinate alongside Unison stewards, and also volunteers to help join leafleting sessions of hospital sites.  Please contact 07503169657 if you would like to be a workplace contact or join in leafleting your workpalcePlease display the strike bulletin and poster in your workplace and circulate to your colleagues. Membership forms are available by reply to this email or the phone number above.

The government has instructed the body which makes recomendations of NHS staff pay (NHS Pay Review Body) not to bother making a recommendation next year because the government has already made up its mind to continue the 0-1% plan.  A second letter tells the NHSPRB to make observations on how to move to 7-day working without any additional costs.  This is only possible with cuts in pay - most likely unsocial hours payments:
 
"For 2015/2016 the NHSPRB is asked to make observations on the barriers and enablers within the AfC pay system, for delivering health care services every day of the week in a financially sustainable way, i.e. without increasing the existing spend. The NHSPRB is asked to make observations on:
• affordable ‘out of hours’ working arrangements;"


At a time that staff are being asked to move to weekend and evening working, and when many core staff already work unsocial hours to ensure services are avaialable at night, weekends and bank holidays including Christmas, the attack on unsocical hours is likely to make people angrier and increase support for action in October.

Agenda for Change pay system for NHS staff: 2015 to 2016

Chief Secretary of the Treasury letter to NHSPRB 31 July 2014