NHS staff strike for ‘fair and decent pay’

jpco 15-10-14 Midwives striking outside Crawley hospital (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-141013-112445001
jpco 15-10-14 Midwives striking outside Crawley hospital (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-141013-112445001

NHS workers calling for “fair and decent pay” are to go on a 12 hour strike.

South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) UNISON members will not work from 12am tomorrow (January 29). Other NHS staff will strike from 9am.

A spokesman for SECAmb said minimising the impact on patients would be challenging.

He said the majority of its staff supported the strike and added: “While it is challenging, we have robust contingency plans in place to ensure we can provide a safe and responsive service to those who need us.”

A spokesman for NHS England said NHS organisations had “tried and tested” plans for industrial action.

A spokesman for Sussex Community NHS Trust, the main provider of community health across the region, said its managers were preparing for possible changes to Crawley Hospital’s services.

People were asked to access its services as they would normally.

A spokesman for Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group said it had received assurances from providers it purchases care in the community from that services would not be disrupted for those who need them the most.

A UNISON spokesman said negotiations with the Government had broken down and pickets would be held at Crawley Hospital and East Surrey Hospital.

Tony Jones, the union’s head of health for the South East, said: “All we are asking is for fair and decent pay for NHS workers.

“Our members’ pay has been frozen or held down for the past five years and there is no end in sight. On average, they have lost around ten per cent in the value of their pay over the life of this parliament.”

The Department of Health did not comment by the time of going to press.