NHS trade unions suspend 24-hour strike following government pay negotiations

This Thursday’s NHS strike action has been suspended  following a pay proposal put forward by the government.

UNISON and GMB negotiators secured pay rises of between 5.6 and 2.2 per cent for more than 250,000 of the lowest paid in the NHS.

This decision followed a stark warning from ambulance chiefs who said that people including car crash victims and elderly people who fall and couldn’t get up would not be sent an ambulance if their condition was not considered life threatening.

A London Ambulance spokesman said: “Unison and GMB have confirmed that Thursday’s planned industrial action has been suspended.

“This means we will be able to provide our regular response to patients.

“We would like to thank everyone for their support and ask that Londoners continue to only call us in a genuine emergency.

“This was a national NHS dispute over pay.”

UNISON head of health and the unions’ lead negotiator, Christina McAnea said:

“The two strike days staged by health workers last year have moved the government to negotiate with the unions.

“The proposals deliver pay rises of between 5.6 and 2.2 per cent for more than 250,000 of the lowest paid in the NHS. We also got additional concessions for ambulance staff.

“Whilst this isn’t a great offer, it addresses some of the key concerns unions have about low pay in the NHS. In the interest of patients’ safety unions will now consult members.

“It will be up to members to decide whether to accept or reject the proposals. If they choose to reject them we will move to further industrial action.”

GMB National Officer, Rehana Azam, said: “GMB is pleased that after a week of talks we have secured a new offer.

“This enables us to suspend the strike action in England while we consult with our members on whether they wish to accept the offer or not.

A national meeting of GMB NHS, Ambulance & Nursing Committee Senior Representatives will take place on February 4.

At the meeting full details of the offer will be set out and the timetable for a consultation will be agreed.

Picture courtesy of Martin Addison, with thanks

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