Socialist Worker

NHS workers vote to strike

Issue No. 2421

Health workers march on the NHS demo in Manchester last September

Health workers marching on the NHS demo in Manchester last September (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Health workers in the Unison union have voted to strike against attacks on their pay.

The ballot of 300,000 workers in England returned a 68 percent vote in favour of what would be the first NHS pay strike in 32 years.

This brings closer the prospect of a massive fight back against the Tories next month.

Unison and other health unions are expected to call a walkout in the same week as a planned strike of up to a million council workers and further education lecturers in England and Wales on 14 October.

Civil service workers in the PCS union and the FBU firefighters’ union could also join the strike.

It also comes just before the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and Scottish TUC demonstrations in London and Glasgow on 18 October.

Tory health secretary Jeremy Hunt has denied most NHS workers even the miserly 1 percent pay rise they had been offered.

Inflation has already wiped out 12 percent of the average NHS worker’s pay since 2011. Workers in the bottom two pay bands are paid less than the “living wage”, and 70 percent of NHS nurses are not due a pay rise for another two years.

Members of Unite, GMB and the Royal College of Midwives could also join the action.

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