Magazine article Public Finance

English Health Unions Ready to Act on Pay

Magazine article Public Finance

English Health Unions Ready to Act on Pay

Article excerpt

New Health Secretary Alan Johnson will continue talks with health unions next week as pressure grows on the government to reverse its decision to stage this year's pay rises.

This week the Northern Ireland Assembly government followed Wales and Scotland in deciding to pay the 2.5% award in full, backdated to April 1 - a move that brought new pressure on Gordon Brown at Prime Minister's Questions on July 11 to make the same concession in England.

Unison, the biggest health union, and the Royal College of Nursing are already threatening industrial action. On July 16, the RCN will ask its members in England if they wish to go ahead with a formell ballot on action - the first time the union has held a national ballot.

Just two days later, representatives from health trades unions will resume their negotiations with Johnson - they met for the first time on July 9. …

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