Thousands of hospital workers in the UK have rejected a three-year pay deal, setting themselves on a collision course with the government.
The GMB union, which represents 25,000 National Health Service (NHS) staff, said members voted against the three-year pay offer by more than 96%, with ambulance workers rejecting the deal by 97% in a separate ballot.
The union represents ambulance crews, porters, catering staff, ancillary workers, blood collection workers, nursing assistants and practitioners, cleaners, laboratory workers, drivers and maintenance staff across England and Wales.
GMB said it will seek an immediate meeting with Health Secretary Alan Johnson.
Members of the union are the latest group of health workers to vote against the deal worth just under 8% over three years.
The Royal College of Midwives said a consultation of its members showed a massive 99.7% rejection of the deal.
National officer Sharon Holder said: “The ballot result is a resounding no.
“This result vindicates the position of the GMB negotiators who knew instinctively that GMB members would not tolerate this unacceptable, long-term pay offer.”
Neil Collinson, a nursing assistant from Cumbria, said: “Health Service workers are being forgotten again by the government. Have they not learned any lessons from the past?”
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“Yeah, too right! Inflation (RPI) is running at around 4% but we all know the true rate is higher. Fair play to GMB for taking a stand on behalf of its members. NHS staff do a fab job, I wish them well.” – Paul Carter, Berkshire, UK
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