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NHS workers reject government's 3% pay rise and prepare for a winter of industrial action

TENS of thousands of NHS workers have dismissed the government’s proposed 3 per cent pay rise as grossly inadequate and are preparing for a winter of industrial action.

Unite, which represents 100,000 NHS staff, says 90 per cent have voted in a ballot to reject the below-inflation increase.

Inflation stands at 4.8 per cent and the union says NHS workers in England have suffered a real-terms pay cut of 19 per cent since the Tories took power in 2010.

Unite and other NHS unions are now working jointly on a co-ordinated campaign of targeted industrial action.

General secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members in the NHS in England have voted overwhelmingly to show their disdain at what is effectively another pay cut for those who cared for the dying and sick during the pandemic. 
 
“With the cost of living soaring and tax hikes on the way, Unite is determined to ensure the government think again and offer our NHS workers the fair and decent pay they undeniably deserve.”
 
Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said that targeted industrial action and days of protest will take place during winter and into 2022.

“Our campaign has great public support,” he said. 

“We will be seeking to conduct these actions, where possible, with other public-sector workers and sister unions who share our discontent on the appalling pay offered to this workforce.”

Unite’s long-standing policy has been for a pay rise of £3,000 a year or 15 per cent, whichever is greater, for all health-sector workers.
 

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