Public sector union Unison has confirmed it will ballot its 300,000 health sector members from 28 August to 18 September for strikes against the “1% or increment” offer from the employers (which Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt believes is already too high!). Unite, GMB, and the Royal College of Midwives have also announced they will ballot for strikes.
If the ballots return a yes vote, they create the potential for a coordinated mass strike on 28 September (the date Unison has announced for its next local government strike, and in which the other public-sector unions which struck on 10 July could also participate).
A strong yes vote from health workers would open up a new front in the battle with the government, whose policies on health have proved hugely unpopular. This would also give a much needed boost to education and local government workers.
Workers’ Liberty members who work in the NHS and other parts of the public sector will be mobilising over the summer to help deliver the best-possible yes vote, and to discuss ways of pushing for coordinated strikes in September.
We will also be pushing within our unions for them to name the next strikes, and other industrial actions, now, and for them to escalate from one-day strikes, rather than waiting for weeks (during which time momentum can subside) in between each strike.