The results of the Unite Health Sector ballot were released yesterday afternoon. Members voted in favour of strike action, and in favour of industrial action short of strike action. Unite’s press release is here.
The vote is an important one. A significant group of public sector workers has stood up to Gordon Brown’s pay restraint and said, ‘No, we deserve better than this’. The NHS can’t function without NHS workers – and many of our members in Unite carry out particularly crucial professional, scientific and technical, and support roles.
Health workers are, quite rightly, disgusted by the Government’s plans for year on year pay cuts. The money’s there to bail out the bankers – why isn’t it there for fair pay for health workers? The contempt for us goes alongside contempt for a publicly funded and publicly accountable NHS, as the Government continues its privatisation plans. It’s time to make a stand against this nonsense.
Important meetings of senior lay reps will take place today and tomorrow to decide the next steps in this fight.