Healthworkers are to be ballotted for industrial action over a NHS pay offer unions describe as derisory.
Workers protested outside hospitals in the East Midlands as they stepped up their campaign for fair pay in the NHS.
UNISON the largest public sector union called healthcare workers, including nurses, paramedics, porters, cleaners, cooks, therapists and healthcare assistants to hold official protests outside the main gate of Newark hospital on Thursday 5th June.
Dave Godson UNISON’s East Midlands Head of Health said:” We are calling on all our members working in the health service in the East Midlands to publicly protest against the unacceptable pay offer from the Government. “We are the largest health union, and we take the responsibility that comes with that, very seriously. Members don’t take action often or easily, but this time it feels that we have no choice.
“We want to use this day to build support for a resounding yes vote when we ballot for strike action.”
Only NHS staff at the top of their pay band will receive a one-off one per cent rise in 2014/15.
No cost-of-living increase will be awarded to any worker eligible for an incremental rise.
Protests took place outside hospitals and other workplaces around the country over the offer denying 60 per cent of NHS workers a pay rise.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has described the decision as an ‘insult’ to hard-working nurses and health care assistants and lobbied workers at Mansfield Community Hospital and Ashfield Health Village.
King’s Mill Hospital nurse Nigel Mellors, chairman of the North Nottinghamshire branch of the RCN said: “The Government’s decision is outrageous and unfair and an insult to dedicated nursing staff in Mansfield.”
The Government says that nurses in the NHS are not worth a tiny pay rise this year even though their pay has actually been cut in real terms over the past four years and living costs continue to rise.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “We have been able to protect the NHS budget and as a result the NHS is performing well despite rapidly rising demand.
“NHS staff are our greatest asset. We cannot afford a pay rise on top of incremental pay increases of up to 6 per cent without risking frontline jobs and safe staffing.”