Health workers balloted to join 14 October public sector action

Workers' action can stop NHS cuts and privatisation, photo Paul Mattsson

Workers’ action can stop NHS cuts and privatisation, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

While NHS bosses hold secret meetings with private health companies looking to get their greasy hands on £1 billion worth of public money, NHS workers have seen their pay fall by 15% in real terms since 2010.

Health workers in Unison, GMB, Unite and Royal College of Midwives are now being balloted for strike action over pay in England, where a 1% pay ‘increase’ was imposed in April, and over terms and conditions in Wales.

Steve Bell, a Unison branch secretary in Buckinghamshire (writing in a personal capacity) says why he is voting for strike action.

“I am voting ‘yes’ in the ballot because I can see what this and previous governments are doing to the NHS.

They are destroying it with market reforms. Healthcare will come down to costs rather than needs.

Finance that should be going into healthcare is going into big business pockets at the expense of both patients and staff.

Patients suffer from reduction in services, often moving them away from where they live and staff suffer from the stress of not being able to do their job as they would wish.

I have worked in the NHS for over 20 years. Although I don’t do the job for the pay, over the past five years I have seen my pay eroded for what? We have worse pensions, worse services, fewer staff and an increased workload. We suffer continuous attacks in the press on the NHS.

As a branch secretary of Unison, I know what private sector health care looks like and that is the way we are heading.

I am voting ‘yes’ because I can’t afford not to, having seen my pay cut for the past five years. But I am also voting yes so that health workers will have their voice heard for a change.

I am urging all health workers to stand up to defend the NHS and vote yes in the ballots.

Then we can join other public sector workers on strike on 14 October in what should be the biggest walkout since the pensions strike of over 1.5 million workers on 30 November 2011.”

NSSN rally and lobby of the TUC Congress in Liverpool: ‘Keep striking together for a pay rise’

Speakers include Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary

2pm, Sunday 7 September

Jurys Hotel, opposite Echo Arena Conference Centre in Albert Dock

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