Magazine article Public Finance

Unison Set to Ballot Health Workers over 2.5% Pay Award

Magazine article Public Finance

Unison Set to Ballot Health Workers over 2.5% Pay Award

Article excerpt

Health unions were gearing up for industrial action over pay this week as conflicting reports emerged about staff morale.

While the British Medical Association was exploring the options open to GPs, the largest health union, Unison, said this year's pay award left it with no choice but to move towards industrial action.

Unisons head of health, Karen Jennings, said the 2.5% award was a pay cut and had left staff disappointed, frustrated and angry.

She added: "The staging of the award by the government is the final straw. Health workers have been through a tough year with deficits and redundancies. They are outraged that the government has interfered with the independence of the pay review body and have elected not to honour the recommendation in full.'

A ballot on strike action could take place by the beginning of May, she said.

The Royal College of Nursing warned of a 'dark mood' among its 400,000 members. General secretary Peter Carter said: 'A worrying number of nurses are telling us this pay award is the final straw and are talking about leaving the health service for good. …

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