Trade unionists in the health service greeted Unison union leader Dave Prentis’s call for united action across the public sector with enthusiasm.
NHS unions have already decided to reject the measly 1.9 percent pay rise they have been offered. Last month Unison decided at its health conference to ballot for strikes if no significantly improved deal is tabled.
Bobby Noyes is the chair of Unison’s Southampton health branch. She said, “Our members are absolutely delighted with this statement.
“We’ve been holding lunchtime protests over pay at the hospitals I represent, and the mood is very strong for action.
“Members are always asking me when we are going to be on strike. And there is real enthusiasm about striking with other public sector workers too.
“I hope that we can use next month’s Unison conference as the launch pad for a national ballot in the NHS, and plan action that coordinates with all the others who are up for a fight.
“At Southampton we’ve got the information out to the members, and we’ve prepared our branch list ready for the ballot. All that remains is to light the blue touch paper and stand well back.”
Operating theatre nurses at Barnsley hospital, members of the GMB union, took strike action on Monday of this week over grading and the implementation of the Agenda for Change agreement on pay.
Over 80 percent voted to strike. Support workers, who are taking action short of a strike, joined their picket line.
Messages of support, GMB, NHS Foundation Trust, Gawber Road, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S75 2EP