UNISON midwife Pam Conaghy on strike in October 2014 by Tim Lezard UNISON members working in the NHS will stage a half day stoppage between 8.30am and 12pm on November 10th. This will be followed by four days of action short of strike action between Tu …

UNISON midwife Pam Conaghy on strike in October 2014

UNISON midwife Pam Conaghy on strike in October 2014

by Tim Lezard

UNISON members working in the NHS will stage a half day stoppage between 8.30am and 12pm on November 10th.

This will be followed by four days of action short of strike action between Tuesday 11 and Friday 14 November when members will work to rule by ensuring they take their breaks and work to their contracted hours.

A strong 77% voted yes for industrial action and 90% to action short of strike action in a ballot which closed on 20 October.

“NHS members don’t take action often or lightly,” says UNISON Cymru/Wales head of health Dawn Bowden. “For many of our members, this will be the first time they walk out as the last action over pay was 32 years ago. The NHS runs on the goodwill of its workers, but that goodwill is beginning to run low.

“We understand the complexities within the Welsh budget, but the workforce cannot be expected to continue to plug the financial gap in the Welsh NHS. This is becoming increasingly difficult for our members to swallow given the unnecessary and politically driven battering that the Welsh health workers and services are receiving at a UK level.

“We will work to ensure that there is minimum impact for patients and all NHS Wales employers have been notified of our intention to strike.

“Strike action is always a last resort, so we will continue our discussions with the employers and the Welsh government and urge them to put a revised offer forward that is worthy of consulting our members on.”

Nurses, occupational therapists, porters, paramedics, medical secretaries, cooks and healthcare assistants will be among those who will take action in response to the decision by the Welsh health minister to ignore the NHS Pay Review recommendations for a 1% pay rise.

Instead, a one-off non-consolidated payment of £160 was offered to all staff. However because the award is non-consolidated it will not count towards pension entitlements or shift pay and will not occur in future years.

UNISON is the UK’s largest health union in Wales.


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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