NHS wage dispute results in 4-hour strike

In England, NHS workers, including midwives, ambulance staff and nurses, have engaged in a four-hour strike over a dispute regarding NHS workers’ wages.

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The workers were in protest over the decision not to implement a 1% pay rise for all staff, based on a recommendation made by a pay review body.

In total, nine unions joined forces and walked out at 07:00 GMT in England. However, a spokesman for the Department of Health said it could not afford the rise without risking frontline jobs.

Of the 45,000 staff who were due to be in work today, 12,500 were absent, meaning one in thirty-five members of staff took part in the strike.

Unions promised the industrial action would not have affected urgent care, despite causing delays for out-patient and non-surgery appointments.

Dave Prentis, the general secretary of Unison, stated, “Really it is to get over a message to the public about what is happening and to get the message to the government about the importance of our members providing our health services.

“An independent pay review body that looks at public service workers recommended a 1% increase in line with the government’s own pay policy.

“But the secretary of state reneged on it.

“The effects on morale has been absolutely dreadful. The feel they are not wanted, they have had no pay increase for four years and now an independent body has been ignored.”

The reverberation of the strike remains to be seen, whether the secretary of state will re-evaluate his decision is unclear.

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