The likelihood of a summer of discontent in the health service increased last week as the NHS Pay Negotiating Council (PNC) – which sets wages for over 300,000 non-clinical staff like porters, cleaners and cooks – announced the same 1.9 percent 'pay rise' that has been offered to clinical staff.
Union representatives from the Amicus, GMB, T&G, Ucatt and Unison unions unanimously rejected the offer.
Mark Ladbrooke, a member of Unison's health executive who attended the talks, said, 'A low paid catering worker from my union told the employers of the life of long hours, low pay and tough physical work that she and her colleagues face everyday.
'To applause from union delegates, she told the national NHS managers to 'stick your pay offer where the sun don't shine'.'
Union negotiators are telling branches to start preparing now for industrial action. It is vital that campaigns are started in every NHS workplace to recruit new members to the unions and win an argument in favour of strikes.
It is also essential that pressure on the union leaders is maintained for speedy and effective action.