NHS staff prepare for 12-hour walkout

Burnley General Hospital
Burnley General Hospital

Health workers in Burnley are preparing for a 12-hour walkout next week as part of a national strike.

The strike is over the unresolved issue of NHS pay and will take place on Thursday, between 9am and 9pm.

It follows action in November when members from 11 unions formed picket lines outside Burnley General Hospital from 7am after being refused a recommended 1% pay rise.

The strike action lasted four hours, and was followed by six days of action short of strike action when workers will be working to rule.

Ambulance workers also withdrew their labour.

The latest action marks a ramping up of the pressure on the Government and employers to resolve the dispute following four-hour stoppages in October and November.

UNISON members will again be joined in taking strike action by members of 11 other health unions.

In addition, a work to rule is planned between Friday, January 30th, and Tuesday, February 24th, which means staff will work only their contracted hours and will take their scheduled breaks.

If the dispute is still not resolved, there will be a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, February 25th.

Amy Barringer, UNISON North-West Head of Health, said: “NHS staff have already seen their pay frozen and capped for the past five years and there is no end in sight. On average, staff have already lost around 10% in the value of their pay.

“Many NHS workers are facing serious financial hardship. It is a disgrace that so many NHS staff still don’t receive the Living Wage and that some even have to rely on food banks.

“NHS staff in England have been singled out for uniquely bad treatment by the Coalition Government. Other groups will get their recommended pay increases – for MPs this is 11%.”