The strikes planned for 29th January and 25th February were postponed so that all members employed in the NHS could be consulted about an offer from the government. Having considered this offer, the Branch Committee recommends that members should REJECT this offer. It is completely inadequate, doesn’t come near to the claim, and will mean a PAY CUT for nearly all members – because it gives nothing for this year, 2014/15, and is below inflation for 2015/16.
If you are employed in the NHS, on Agenda for Change terms and conditions, you will receive a ballot paper from UNISON, which must be returned by 10am on Monday 2nd March to UNISON HQ (there will be a reply paid envelope with the ballot paper).
All members who will be balloted should have received an information sheet from the branch giving details of the offer, and why the Branch Committee recommends that you reject it. If you haven’t had it, please contact Ben Jackson in the Union Office at Chorlton House (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
The strike which was planned for Thursday 29th January has been postponed. Talks between the NHS unions and the government have led to an ‘offer’. We will now be consulted on this to see if we want to reject it and carry on with our industrial action, or accept it – which would decide our pay until the end of March 2016.
We don’t have many details yet, but we do know that there is NO OFFER OF A PAY RISE for this year backdated to April 2014. The offer is just from April 2015.
Information about the offer will be circulated to all members as soon as possible, and we will hold meetings to explain it and consult with members.
The two strikes so far, on 14th October and 24th November, have been very successful. The aim has been to get good media publicity, which we certainly have around the country. We do not want to harm patients and service users – and many of them, and the public as a whole, have said that they support our action.
Now we’re preparing for two longer strikes: 12 hours, from 9am to 9pm on Thursday 29th January, and 24 hours from midnight to midnight on Wednesday 24th February.
On Thursday 29th January, join the picket line at Chorlton House from 9am-11am (Ben Jackson, the Branch Secretary, has promised to supply special breakfast butties to all of us there!). Then we’ll all be going to the rally at 12.30pm in the basement of the Students Union of Manchester University, on Oxford Road. Join us there even if you can’t get to the picket line.
Our strikes have already forced the government to enter into talks with the trade unions. Previously, Jeremy Hunt was refusing even to meet the trade unions, saying the decision had been made not to implement the recommendation of the Pay Review Body. We must keep up the pressure on the government. This is not just a fight for our pay now, but if we win, it could stop the government from making further cuts in our pay. They have announced – and are supported by the NHS Employers organisation – that they want to slash unsocial hours payments, ultimately to make us work at any time on any day of the week for no extra pay.
For photos of the strike on 14th October, see above (Chorlton House) and the slideshow.