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Nurse pay deal divides union conference


Nurses came within a few votes of strike action over pay at Unison’s Healthcare Service Group Conference yesterday.

A show of hands over whether to accept an emergency motion that would put the proposed three-year 8% pay rise to members was passed on a card vote after a show of hands was indecisive.

Had the motion failed, members would have been asked to vote on a second emergency motion proposing immediate industrial action, including a strike, over pay.

A third emergency motion, which asked for the rejection of the multi-year deal and acceptance of only the 2.75% recommended by the NHS Pay Review Body last month, was also overturned.

There were 214,059 votes in favour of a consultative ballot, scheduled to take place in May, with 201,001 against in the card vote.

Earlier, there had been a passionate debate about whether or not to accept the deal, which many members argued was a real-terms pay cut.

Sarah Creagh, member for Central Bristol Health, said: ‘We have to have the confidence to let members of staff fight for better pay and conditions.’

But Lillian Macer, speaking on behalf of the Service Group Executive, urged members to back a ballot of the proposed deal. ‘We have to give our members the right to have their say on whether to accept or reject the proposals,’ she said.


Readers' comments (5)

  • It is important to note that there was NO proposal to recommend acceptance of this deal. Even the leadership of UNISON can see that this is not a good deal. The decision now rests with health workers across the country who will get to decide whether or not they can put up with three more years of below inflation pay rises.

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  • I do not agree with the pay deal as nurses pay is below all other professionals and away below the police pay scales. Our job is dangerous and demanding which is not recognized by the government. It is frankly an insult .

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  • I think this offer is only worth having if it's a one or two year deal

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  • I am nurse of 35yrs practise. I am working 55 hours a week to support my son through university. University what a laugh. He attends, travelling some thirty miles to have a lecture cancelled the lecturer has a sore throat!!!!.

    Common England what the hell is going on. Am I the only frustared conservative/labour/monster raving lunatic voter out here. I have worked on the bread line for so long now, I really don't give a fig.

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  • Reject this insulting offer.
    We must fight for our profession and the future of nursing. Who in their right mind want to go through a university education with the prospects of low pay, poor housing, unsocial hours, difficulty in getting time off with children.
    I have to give a minimum of six weeks notice and still not guaranteed to get my request!
    Why are teachers, police and railworkers rewarded so differently?
    I am fed up being a mug, let's join forces and show the government that we can care about ourselves for once. Why do ministers get away with awarding themselves pay increases?

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