Britain’s biggest health service trade union has thrown out an attempt by employers to blackmail thousands of low paid NHS workers.
Bosses wanted staff to forgo annual incremental pay rises for two years in return for limited safeguards to jobs.
But many union activists have said these promises are not worth the paper they are written on.
A meeting of the Unison union’s health executive this week rejected the offer by 24 votes to seven.
Senior Unison officers, some of whom backed the proposal, were instructed not to enter into any further talks on the subject, and instead tell members that there would be no deal.
But NHS bosses are not giving up on their offensive. They insist they must save £14 billion over the next three years, and that at least 120,000 jobs must go.
Karen Reissmann, who sits on the health executive, told Socialist Worker that it is vital the union now moves on to the offensive.
“We are facing a massive onslaught on jobs and services from the government and employers. Health workers are livid that we are being made to pay for the crisis,” she said.
“As a union we need to be prepared to stand up for ourselves.
“Any group of health workers which come under attack should get the backing of us all. We need to be prepared to take action.”
Health workers in the Unite union are also organising against the employers’ proposal. An open letter urging the union’s leaders to reject it is circulating. Download the letter as a Word document