As many as 15,000 nurses would have to be laid off, including 4,000 this year, prompting a further care disaster such as Mid-Staffordshire, if the government were to accept demands for a pay rise, the health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said. Hunt was speaking as ambulance services faced disruption and non-urgent caesarean sections and other elective operations were delayed on Monday as a result of the first strike by NHS staff in England over pay for 32 years. The four-hour stoppage, a protest after an expected 1% pay rise was blocked, was intended to force Hunt to make more money available for staff who claim their earnings have been cut by 15% in real terms under the coalition government. But the action by nurses, midwives and other staff comes amid warnings that it will “distress and inconvenience” patients and cause problems for important NHS services. The five unions whose members will be striking claim Hunt has betrayed them and left them feeling undervalued and … [Read more...] about NHS strikes: pay rises would mean loss of 15,000 nurses, says Hunt
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NHS staff in England will stage a strike on Monday in protest at a third year without a pay rise – their first over pay in more than three decades. More than 450,000 people, from cleaners and porters to ambulance drivers and occupational therapists, will be involved in a four-hour walkout. For the Royal College of Midwives, which voted to join the strike, it is the first industrial action in its 133-year history. It comes as a trade union survey showed that one in five NHS workers were taking on second jobs just to cope, while half said they could not get through to the end of each month without relying on overdrafts, credit cards, family or loans. The survey of more than 3,000 NHS workers by the public service union Unison also reveals that two thirds of those who responded had to cut back on food, 51% reduced their energy usage, 44% cut back on transport, 80% went without holidays and 90% had to cut back on leisure activities, leaving them with little opportunity to recuperate. … [Read more...] about Why we’re striking: NHS staff on their decision to walk out
Ambulance services face disruption and non-urgent caesarean sections and other elective operations will be delayed on Monday as a result of the first strike by NHS staff in England over pay for 32 years. The four-hour stoppage, a protest after an expected 1% pay rise was blocked, is intended to force the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to make more money available for staff who claim their earnings have been cut by 15% in real terms under the coalition. But the action by nurses, midwives and other staff comes amid warnings that it will “distress and inconvenience” patients and cause problems for important NHS services. The five unions whose members will be striking claim Hunt has betrayed them and left them feeling undervalued and undermined, while representatives of hospitals and other important services say the strike has a dubious mandate because few staff voted for it. Ambulance services are likely to be affected most. About 130 military personnel will drive ambulances … [Read more...] about NHS staff strike: maternity care among services to be hit
Last year, the independent NHS Pay Review Body, whose judgments ministers have traditionally honoured, said that all NHS staff in England deserved a 1% pay rise from 1 April 2014 and that the service, despite growing financial pressure, could afford it. After two years of pay freezes and another year of just a 1% rise in salary, staff were grateful for, though not bowled over by, the proposed 1%. However, the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, cancelled the recommended across-the-board increase. Instead, he said, only those NHS employees who do not receive annual pay increments – small salary uplifts that recognise a person’s skills, duties or length of service – would get the 1%. That is about half of NHS staff; everyone else would receive only their usual increment, which is worth about 3% on their salary. As such, the Department of Health insists that everyone will be receiving “1% additional pay” in 2014-15. They will. However, that is much less than the … [Read more...] about Why are NHS staff striking?
NHS staff are to take further industrial action next month unless ministers agree to give them a 1% pay rise. Unions whose members are taking part in the first walkout by NHS staff over pay since 1982 will undertake further action in November if the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, does not meet them for talks and offer more money. “We are already planning, and will definitely be taking, further industrial action if the government doesn’t put more money on the table and doesn’t talk to us,” said Rachael Maskell, head of health at the Unite union. “There will definitely be more industrial action by NHS staff if Jeremy Hunt doesn’t sit down and talk and make more money available. It’s clear that the government are going to have to find money [to settle] this [dispute].” The seven unions taking part in Monday’s action were discussing three options for the next stage of their attempts to force the coalition to pay all NHS staff the 1% … [Read more...] about NHS unions tell Hunt: talk to us or face further strikes