Members of the Unite union working in the NHS organised a national day of action over the three-year below-inflation pay deal imposed on health workers. Union members in London, Brighton, Norwich, Liverpool, Manchester, Nuneaton, Leeds, Poole, Belfast and Nottingham all held protests.
It was inspiring to walk to the gate of Frenchay Hospital, Bristol at 12.30pm last Friday 18 July to find Unite flags fluttering in the wind, our Unite branch banner proudly displayed and colleagues handing out union postcards.
In a national vote, Unite members in the health service returned a 94.8 percent rejection of the NHS three-year under-inflation pay deal and a willingness to be balloted for industrial action. This local protest was collectively organised; with two activists' meetings in the previous weeks and a sharing out of the jobs such as making posters, talking to members and contacting the press.
Swapping their lunchtime for protest time or joining us on their day off, were ancillary, engineering, physiological measurement and laboratory staff. We were able to read out apologies from a local Labour MP. Some staff from other NHS sites either joined us or sent messages of support.
Gwyneth Powell-Davies, Branch chair, Bristol Health Service Unite
Unite members from Hospitals across Liverpool demonstrated in front of Broadgreen Hospital against cuts in their pay at lunchtime on Friday. There was a large group who had come from Alder Hey childrens hospital to join the staff at Broadgreen. They were angry at the way management had already started forcing through the new pay conditions before an agreement had been reached.
Thirty Unite members protested opposite the Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. They got a good response from passers-by. Some workers from other unions joined the protest.