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Nurses and midwives go on strike again over 1% pay dispute

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Nurses, midwives and other NHS workers across England and Northern Ireland are today on strike for the second time in the past two months over a pay dispute with the government.

Members from 11 health unions will take part in a four-hour strike from 7am to 11am in England and 8am to 12 midday on Monday 24 November in Northern Ireland, after ministers refused to agree to a 1% pay rise for all NHS staff.

This will be followed by four days of “work to rule” action for Royal College of Midwives members, meaning they will not work unpaid overtime and will take all of their breaks for the remainder of the week.

Meanwhile, Unite members will continue to work to rule for the next two months.

Last month, thousands of nurses and midwives staged a four-hour stoppage as part of nationwide action over pay.

Members are striking again following government decisions in England and Northern Ireland to reject the NHS Pay Review Body’s recommendation to increase the pay of all staff on Agenda for Change contracts by 1%.

“We expect a strong turn-out buoyed up by very welcome continuing public support”

Rachael Maskell

Earlier this week, unions accepted a new pay deal offered by the Welsh Government, which will see NHS workers on Agenda for Change contracts receive a 1% pay rise in 2015.

In Scotland, the government accepted the PRB’s recommendations and NHS workers received the 1% increase from April 2014.

When members from the RCM went on strike in October, it was the first time they had done so in the union’s 133-year history.

Cathy Warwick

Cathy Warwick

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the RCM, said: “This is not about our members demanding huge banker-sized bonuses, or asking for the similarly large bonuses and pay increases given to many senior managers in the NHS.

“It is about our members having to fight just to get the very modest 1% pay award recommended by the NHS Pay Review Body,” she said.

She added: ““As before in every area our local representatives have worked with hospitals to ensure safe services will be available to women in need of urgent care, such as those in labour.”

Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “The 1.35 million NHS workforce has been forced, reluctantly, to take strike action on Monday as they have seen their incomes eroded by 15% since the Coalition came to power in May 2010.

“And we expect a strong turn-out buoyed up by very welcome continuing public support, following the four hour action last month,” she said.   

Meanwhie, Christina McAnea, head of health at Unison and chair of the NHS trade union staffside council, said:“This industrial action is set to be even stronger as more unions have joined it.


Christina McAnea

“We have given them every opportunity to find a resolution,” she said. “But Jeremy Hunt is still refusing to negotiate with the trade unions, leaving staff no option but to take this action.

“The NHS depends on the goodwill and commitment of the workforce and this is now at breaking point,” she added. “This dispute is not going away.”


Unions taking part in the strike today

British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT)

British Dietetic Association (BDA)


Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA)

Managers in Partnership (MiP)

Prison Officers Association (POA)

Royal College of Midwives (RCM)

Society of Radiographers (SoR)

Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT)


Unite the union

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Cathy Warwick in particular, as well as the others quoted, was spot-on in her comments about the 1 per cent requested, which is so little compared to the big pay rises given to the "jobs for the boys" brigade.

    The sooner the govt gives in, the less they will lose face and the quicker the electorate will forget about it. . . or would they rather use the pay rise as an electioneering advert?

    All this over 1 per cent! What would happen if the unions got serious and really started to flex their muscles?

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