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Unite members vote to strike over NHS pay

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Unite Members have voted to strike on 13 October in response to the government rejecting a one per cent pay rise for NHS workers in April.

Action by Unite members in England will include a four-hour strike between 7 am and 11am on 13 October. Members will also adhere to the contracted 37.5 hour week between 13 October and 9 November. Unite members in Northern Ireland will strike between 11am and 3pm on the same day and a demonstration will take place at Stormont.

The second largest group of healthcare professionals that Unite represents comprises health visitors and school nurses.

Rachael Maskell, Unite's head of health, said: 'Now our members have given a resounding rejection to Cameron and his government who vetoed the one per cent pay rise, recommended by the independent Pay Review Body (PRB). This meant that 600,000 NHS employees received no cost of living pay rise in April.

'The calibrated industrial action is designed to achieve three objectives; to get the one per cent rise paid to all 1.3 million NHS staff; respect future PRB recommendations; and obtain the 'living wage' for the 40,000 NHS staff currently being paid below that level.'

In England, the union's members voted by a 62 per cent margin in favour of strike action and by 77 per cent for industrial action short of a strike.
In Northern Ireland, the members voted by a 78 per cent margin in favour of strike action and 91 per cent for industrial action short of a strike.
In Wales there will be no strike action, as good progress has been made on a compromise over pay.

The Scottish government accepted the PRB's recommendations and there will be no strike action.

Unison members voted in favour of strike action last week and the RCM ballot is due to close on Monday 29 September. The RCN will not ballot its members but encourages its members to protest.

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