UNISON

NHS pay: what's been gained?

Author: 

Charlotte Zalens

As Solidarity went to press on 27 January, news of a deal on NHS pay had just been announced.

Unison, Unite, GMB and the Royal College of Midwives have all confirmed they have suspended strikes planned for Thursday 29 January to consult members on an offer from the government.

A GMB official said the offer included “the implementation of the 1% pay rise for all NHS staff from April 2015 plus some further improvements for the lowest paid NHS staff.”

The details are unclear. However initial publicity suggested that it includes:

It is clear to all that the problems within the National Health Service go much deeper than insufficient pay.

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Industrial news in brief

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Peggy Carter, Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Darren Bedford

As Solidarity went to press on 20 January, health unions were meeting with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The NHS pay dispute is escalating. It started timidly with two days of four-hour strikes. But now there will be a 12 hour strike on 29 January, followed by a 24 hour strike on 25 February involving most of the unions in the NHS.

There were problems with the two four hour strikes. In some areas unions scuppered their own action by granting lavish “exemptions”, encouraging many members to go to work.

Health unions meet Government; new offer at Lambeth College; Brighton hospital workers balloted; Barnet care workers to strike; Essex firefighters strikes solid despite lockout.

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Fight for rank and file control in Unison

Author: 

Simon Nelson

The defeat of the Local Government pay dispute and the current uneven impact of the NHS strikes over the current pay claim have shown the current weakness of branch and workplace organisation in both health and local government.

The defeat of the Local Government pay dispute and the current uneven impact of the NHS strikes over the current pay claim have shown the current weakness of Unison branch and workplace organisation in both health and local government.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short, Darren Bedford, Gerry Bates, Charlotte Zalens and Micheál McEoin

As Solidarity went to press on 13 January, bus drivers across London were staging a 24 hour strike in a bid to level up pay across the capital.

London’s bus network is outsourced to 18 different companies. Each one of these companies has their own pay scales and the union Unite must separately negotiate pay with all 18 companies. As a result pay differs by up to £3 an hour across the capital for drivers doing the same work. Unite is calling for a London wide pay scale.

London bus drivers. Essex firefighters, clothing workers and college staff strike; Haringey council cuts; sacked rep reinstated.

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Tax the rich to save the Health Service!

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

Spurred by waiting times in Accident & Emergency departments which are the worst since records began in 2004, the Tories have promised an extra £2 billion a year above inflation for the health service.

Labour says it will go £2.5 billion a year above that (funded by a mansion tax, a levy on tobacco companies and closing tax loopholes). Both are completely inadequate

NHS boss Simon Stevens says that the NHS will need at least £8 billion a year above inflation even with dramatic “efficiency savings” – by which he means attacks on NHS workers.

The labour movement must demand a thoroughgoing reversal of marketisation and privatisation, and adequate funding to rebuild the NHS as a comprehensive public service.

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Charlotte Zalens, Rhodri Evans and Gemma Short

Health workers in Unison, Unite and GMB will strike for 12 hours on Thursday 29 January, with a planned follow up of 24 hours on Wednesday 25 February.

This follows a series of 4 hour strikes in October and November over NHS pay. Unions are also calling on members to “work to rule” for the days between the two strikes.

Health unions are calling for an immediate 1% consolidated pay rise for all NHS staff, with a further consolidated award for 2015-16 and future increases that they hope will restore the value of NHS pay.

Health workers to walk out; London bus drivers vote for strikes over pay; Waterloo rail cleaners suspend strike; Brighton mental health workers strike; Hands Off London Transport.

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Mobilise against council cuts!

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Editorial

The Local Government Association, which represents local councils, warned on 19 November that "services will buckle under the strain of further cuts".

Back in July it had already warned: "The funding gap is growing at an average of £2.1 billion a year, adding up to £12.4 billion by the end of [this] decade".

The National Audit Office has estimated (1 November) a 37% real-terms reduction in government funding to local authorities between 2010-11 to 2015-16.

Local authorities with the highest levels of disadvantage are facing the greatest cuts.

The Local Government Association, which represents local councils, warned on 19 November that "services will buckle under the strain of further cuts".

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Local government workers accept deal

Author: 

Dave Pannett

Local Government workers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland have voted to accept a pay offer which equates to no more than the 1% offer the same group of workers rejected in this year.

The deal simultaneously ties workers into a 1% pay deal for 2015-16.

64% of Unison members voted to accept the deal, 36% to reject

Local Government workers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland have voted to accept a pay offer which equates to no more than the 1% offer the same group of workers rejected in this year.

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Health workers to strike again

Author: 

Todd Hamer

Health unions will stage a further four hour strike on 24 November in their ongoing pay dispute.

If we do not win a decent pay settlement and build a union movement capable of defending our already much degraded terms and conditions, then we will have helped speed on the end of the NHS as a free state-of-the art health service.

Since 2010 the NHS has been starved of £20 billion. By 2020 the gap between funding and necessary expenditure will be around £50 billion.

Health unions will stage a further four hour strike on 24 November in their ongoing pay dispute.

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

Cleaners working for Interserve at Waterloo station struck on 10-11 November after a manager claimed “we shouldn’t be employing black people.”

The strikes will take place between 3pm on Monday and 3pm on Tuesday, and for a further 24 hours starting at 3pm on 21 November.

The RMT union says bosses have refused to address the allegation through agreed procedures. The union also says Interserve has underpaid wages, as well as victimising, bullying and harassing staff.

Waterloo cleaners strike against racism; German train drivers walk out over wages; housing charity workers win on pay; Care UK offer deal; defend Julie Davis.

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