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Health visitors gear up for industrial action over NHS pay deal

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Health visitors and community nurses will work to rule tomorrow in a day of industrial action against the government’s three-year NHS pay deal, which they say has already been overtaken by the credit crunch.

The Unite members will ignore all non-essential paperwork, emails and telephone calls during the day of action, which was voted in favour of by 76% of those who took part in a balloted earlier this month.

The government’s pay offer of 7.9% across three years is ‘derisory’, according to the union, which is calling for pay negotiations to be re-opened. The union argues that the credit crunch has already caused inflation to rise well above the projected pay rise, resulting in a real terms cut in wages.

David Fleming, Unite’s national officer for health, said: ‘The welfare of clients and patients will be paramount and emergency cover maintained.

Our members are struggling to keep up with the cost of living. This is the third year that our members have been forced to survive on below inflation pay rises,’ he said.

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