Significant disruption to NHS services this week due to industrial action. Military drivers are being used to drive ambulances and to perform other support roles. This is how the Trade Union UNISON explains it:
Press release from Cambridge Health UNISON
NHS PAY STRIKE IN CAMBRIDGE OCTOBER 13TH
THE NATIONWIDE fight for better pay in the NHS starts in earnest on
Monday October 13th, when UNISON and other health unions in England
start the first week of industrial action.
The week will begin with a four-hour strike between 7 am and 11 am on the Monday; it will be followed by four days of "take your breaks" action, and will culminate in the big national "Britain Needs a Pay Rise" demonstration in London on Saturday October 18th.
WHY is action taking place?
Pay in the NHS has fallen well behind inflation and most staff have not
seen an above inflation pay rise since 2009. 60% of NHS staff have not
had any pay rise this year; only those on the top of their bands have
had a 1% 'unconsolidated' pay award, which does not count towards
unsocial hours pay, overtime or pensions and which could disappear next
April - all against the recommendation of the Pay Review Body. Not only
that, but at present it doesn't look like health workers will get a pay
rise at all next year!
WHY does this matter in Cambridgeshire?
This situation is completely unacceptable anywhere but it is
particularly harsh here in Cambridgeshire, where we have seen some of
the steepest rises in the cost of living - especially housing - anywhere
in the country.
The National Housing Federation says that in Cambridge house prices
have gone up by 66 per cent in ten years! And private rents have gone up
by 39 per cent over the same period. In Cambridgeshire as a whole house
prices have risen by 62 per cent over the last decade, whilst average
pay has risen by just 29 per cent - and NHS pay by a great deal less.
WHAT are we asking for?
Immediate payment of the PRB-recommended 1% on all hourly rates and the
Living Wage of £7.65 per hour minimum
No pay freeze for 2015-16
A commitment to cost of living pay increases for the future
WHAT is happening in Cambridge Health UNISON?
On Monday October 13th (strike day) pickets will be out at as many as
possible NHS sites at Addenbrooke's to encourage members to support the
action, to win support for fair pay, and to collect more signatures on
We will be meeting at 6.30 am at the car park by the roundabout on
Hills Road, to start picketing from 7 am (the start of the strike). We
will have refreshments available at the car park, and will have a rally
with a range of prominent local speakers from 9.30 am, including local
Labour candidates Daniel Zeichner and Sue Birtles.
Members in workplaces within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation
Trust have also expressed an interest in picketing their workplaces,
including a picket line at UNION House in Chesterton on the morning of
These activities will be taken jointly with other union members taking
part in industrial action, including GMB, UNITE and the Royal College of
From Tuesday October 14th - Friday October 17th we are urging members
to take their breaks and not to work unpaid extra hours. We will be
offering refreshments at Addenbrooke's at lunchtimes.
On Saturday October 18th we are going to London for the big national
demonstration "Britain Needs a Pay Rise", called by the TUC, as we are
just one group of public sector staff taking action on pay.
For more information please contact Cambridge Health UNISON on 01223
217440, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Martin Booth on
07754095046 or email email@example.com
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