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

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.