Socialist Worker

Health workers 'spitting mad' over pay

Issue No. 2055

'Unison union members in the NHS are spitting mad about pay, and we want action as soon as possible.' So says Paul Harper, who has just been elected to the national executive of his union.

'Every major union in the health service says that they will ballot their members in August unless an improved offer is made,' he told Socialist Worker.

'That's brilliant. If we take action together the government will be hit hard. The pay fight is not just about the staging of our poxy 2.5 percent rise. It's about getting a decent above inflation increase, particularly for the lowest paid workers in the NHS.

'I think that we will need a strategy that involves strike action to win this fight. My election victory unseated the sitting executive member who wanted a cautious approach – he opposed having a national demonstration in London against NHS cuts.

'I have a mandate for the opposite. We need an aggressive stance against the government, and, while we welcome unity with other unions, Unison must be prepared to act independently.

'We are the biggest union in the health service – now we need to punch our weight.'


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Tue 12 Jun 2007, 19:56 BST
Issue No. 2055
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