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Health workers protest over pay

3 December, 2008  

The health service is facing a day of action as NHS staff protest at a “derisory” three-year pay deal worth around 8%.

Unite said the work to rule includes a ban on non-essential paperwork, email exchanges, attendance at meetings and telephone calls and will affect both hospitals and health centres.

The union, angry at the billions spent bailing out the banking sector, is calling on the government to re-open negotiations over the pay of NHS workers facing years of below-inflation wage rises.

Derek Simpson, joint leader of Unite, said: “I am pressing for an urgent meeting with Gordon Brown where I will raise the whole sorry saga of the government’s negative attitude to public sector pay, with particular reference to our NHS members.”

National officer David Fleming said emergency cover will be maintained during the protest, adding: “Our members are struggling to keep up with the cost of living. This is the third year that our members have been forced to survive on below inflation pay rises.’

“If the government can find billions of pounds to rescue irresponsible banks, then it can find money to give hard working NHS staff a fair rise. Any extra cash in pay packets will have the added benefit of pumping demand into local economies.”

Copyright Press Association 2008