NHS strikes over pay rise

NHS Staff at Bridlington Hospital East Yorkshire on strike over their pay review
NHS Staff at Bridlington Hospital East Yorkshire on strike over their pay review

Members of staff at Bridlington Hospital took part in the first national NHS strike over pay in 32 years.

The four-hour stoppage, a protest after an expected 1% pay rise was blocked, is intended to force the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to make more money available for staff who claim their earnings have been cut by 15% in real terms under the coalition.

Unison, Unite, the GMB, Royal College of Midwives, Managers in Partnership, the British Association of Occupational Therapists and Ucatt all took part in the strike on Monday in a dispute with the government regarding receiving a 1% pay increase.

Unite the Union Work Place Rep at Bridlington Hospital, Franco Villani, said: “Today is all about reaching out to the government so they will begin to listen and give everyone in the NHS a pay rise which they certainly deserve.

“The government need to sit down with the unions to be able to negotiate the situation but so far they have not co operated.”

The four-hour walkout between 7am and 11am on Monday, which is usually the NHS’s busiest day, The unions involved have stressed that patient care and patient safety will not be compromised.

Mr Villani said: “I would like to express that this is a last resort and despite the claims that the strike will have a negative effect on the quality of service are incorrect as we have a full team in place. Of course patients come first and we would be there to act if a serious incident occurred.”

Last year, the independent NHS Pay Review Body said that all NHS staff in England deserved a 1% pay rise from 1 April 2014 and that the service, despite growing financial pressure, could afford it. After two years of pay freezes and another year of just a 1% rise in salary, NHS staff are not happy.

A Royal College of Midwives spokesperson said: “We hope this action will raise the awareness of the situation so our support will grow stronger in the hope of achieving our aim of getting a pay rise

Mr Villani said: “I’d like to thank everyone for coming down and joining in our protest, we are so grateful. The response from the public has been fantastic.

“Mr Hunt, please look at the action happening nationally today. It is a clear signal for you that we are united and are serious about the matter so it is time you sat down with the unions and came to a compromise.”