The prospect of a massive strike by public sector workers in the autumn took another step forwards yesterday (Wednesday).
The Unison union, which organises almost half a million workers in the health service, revealed its timetable for action after its health executive met.
Unison will serve notice on employers next week, telling them that ballot papers will go out on 11 October.
Voting will close on 3 November—allowing hundreds of thousands of nurses, porters and paramedics to join the mass strike set for 30 November.
Unison leaders told their executive that they had no choice but to prepare for strikes as negotiations with the government over pensions are making no progress.
They expect it will take more than one day of strikes to win the pensions battle.
Leaders also reported that vote organisers, the Electoral Reform Society, say the ballot will be so big that there are not enough envelopes in Britain to handle it, and that more will have to shipped in.
Meanwhile the NAHT head teachers' union also announced its ballot timetable today. It will begin a ballot on 29 September and expects the result on 9 November.