15 April 2014
Delegates at Unison Health Conference have voted overwhelmingly, passing a motion for a ballot for industrial action up to and including strikes in response to the Tories’ insulting pay offer.
Unite have now also announced that they will run a consultation over possible strike action prior to a ballot for strike action. (see here: http://bit.ly/1iUXG55)
Speakers at the Unison conference, including those from the top table, stressed the importance of getting back to the branches and workplaces to build towards the action, and get members organised to deliver the biggest YES vote possible.
Unison’s head of health Christina McAnea said, “We’re not asking members to strike for 1% we’re saying strike for a pay award that starts to restore the value of your pay, fight for a living wage for all, and because a demoralised and de-motivated workforce is not good for patients.”
Several delegates raised the importance of coordinating with as many other groups striking back as possible, such as the teachers and local government workers who could be striking again in June.
The union’s Health Service Group Executive moved the motion, with enthusiastic support from health workers speaking from the conference floor.
In one moving speech, a nurse spoke with emotion about the difficulty of having to explain to his kids about having to take out a Wonga loan to keep food on the table, and got a huge applause as he concluded saying that’s why he’d be voting to strike. Delegates spoke in anger about the 11 percent rise for MPs while health workers continued to stomach pay freezes.
Unison Health will call days of action, with protests outside workplaces, in June and July in the build up to the ballot for strikes, which will take place over the summer and would see strikes in autumn.