Strike Threat

Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England), May 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

Strike Threat


Byline: Marie Levy

The NHS is facing a wave of industrial unrest this summer as thousands of workers protest over pay issues.

Moves towards equal pay for men and women have led to thousands suing the NHS for back pay.

But it's the Government's controversial decision to stage a 2.5% pay rise that is causing the most upset on Teesside.

Trade union Unison is pressing ahead with 11,000 equal pay claims despite the 'Agenda for Change' deal agreed three years ago covering pay and conditions in the NHS.

National officer Mike Jackson, said: "We are disappointed with the Government's position because, in other areas, like local government, employers have been responsive and have negotiated settlements in back pay."

No-win no-fee lawyers are also collecting NHS back pay cases with more than 30,000 claims across England, Scotland and Wales launched in the last two years.

But there are fears that no-win no-fee solicitors could wreck the new equal pay system which has seen 90% of women getting a better deal as there will be no incentive for employers to introduce equal pay if they will end up facing a legal battle. …

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