Staff at three high security psychiatric hospitals will strike today in the bitter dispute with the government over health workers’ pay.
Members of the Prison Officers Association at Broadmoor in Berkshire, Rampton in Nottinghamshire and Ashworth on Merseyside will walk out for four hours from 7am
“They do a dangerous job on behalf of society and deserve to be treated fairly”
It will be the first strike by psychiatric nurses at the three sites over pay, and follows a 4-1 vote in favour of action in a ballot. The four-hour stoppage will be followed by a work to rule.
The POA said a “high proportion” of its 1,300 members involved in the dispute would not receive a pay rise this year following the government’s controversial decision not to accept a recommended 1% wage increase for all NHS staff.
Midwives, nurses, ambulance crews, radiographers and other NHS workers have all taken strike action in recent weeks in the same dispute.
Steve Gillan, general secretary of the POA, said: “It is regrettable that we are having to take this action, but we believe the government was entirely wrong to interfere with the recommendations of the NHS pay review body.
“Our members are angry they have been treated in this manner. They do a dangerous job on behalf of society and deserve to be treated fairly,” he added.
Mr Gillan said the union had called the strike “reluctantly” and would make sure minimum cover will be arranged during the walkout.
“We expect the strike to be well supported,” he told the Press Association.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “We are disappointed the Prison Officers Association is taking industrial action. The high security hospitals have plans in place to ensure the safety of patients, staff and the public is not compromised during industrial action.”