Unison members working in the NHS in England will strike for fair pay on Monday 13 October for four hours from 7am to 11am.

This will be followed by four days of action short of a strike, on Tuesday 14 October to Friday 17 October. This action will focus on making sure members take their breaks.

The industrial action ballot, which closed on 18 September saw 68% of those taking part vote for strike action and 88% for action short of a strike.

The health service group executive considered the ballot result on Friday 19 September and recommended the industrial action on 13 October with action short of a strike for the rest of week, which leads up the the TUC and STUC demonstrations in London and Glasgow on 18 October.

UNISON wants the NHS to be properly funded so that it can have enough staff who are well motivated and fairly paid. Our campaign is for:

  • immediate payment of the 1% consolidated sum to everyone, as recommended by the NHS Pay Review Body;
  •     the living wage of £7.65 an hour for low paid staff;
  •     an above inflation pay rise for 2015-16;
  •     a commitment to future pay rises that will restore the value of NHS pay.

Across the UK healthworkers in UNISON, Unite and the RCN spent the day campaigning to reject this years derisory pay award that leaves all NHS staff worse off as prices contimue to rise above wages. 

Oxford's main hositals saw thousands of leaflets distributed explaining the need for fair pay in the NHS.  At the Warneford and JRII hospitals staff made their views known en masse with two protests.


NHS pay 2014

50 staff from the Oxford health Trust, NOC and Churchill hospitals joined the Warneford Hospital lunch time protest.

Pay update

The Health Service Group Executive of UNISON has submitted an emergency motion to the UNISON Health conference calling for NHS members to be balloted over the government imposed pay deal which will see over 2/3rds of NHS staff get no pay rise this year, with the remainder getting a below inflation rise worth less than 1%.

As a result of employers lack of progress in gaining agreement from unions to cut their members pay and conditions the government has announced that NHS workers will have at least another year of real term pay cuts, with a strong indication this will be the case in the future unless we accept direct cuts to pay, terms and conditions.

For 2014 only NHS staff at the top of pay bands will qualify for a 1% non-consolidated rise (see below for explanation).  People on all other points of the pay bands will get no pay rise. They will get any annual incremental rise at their normal incremental date.

The Pay Review Body, which recommends the level of NHS pay, is due to report in the next few weeks. We already know that Tory health minister  Jeremy Hunt has argued that most NHS staff should only receive even a 1% pay increase (which is still a pay cut in real terms) if we agree to wholesale destruction of working conditions. This includes an end to incremental rises, cuts in unsocial hours and cuts in annual leave. The aim of any changes is to slash the wages bill.

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!