The risk of industrial action by NHS workers over pay is growing amid ongoing anger over the government’s 3% increase.
The GMB union announced that it would vote tens of thousands of its NHS members in England. Voting opens on November 10th and ends on December 15th.
If the ballot is yes, strikes will start in the new year.
Members of other health unions are also consulted about industrial action over pay.
More than nine out of ten GMB members in the NHS have already opposed the 3%, which the union said was below inflation, a real wage cut.
The GMB has campaigned for a 15% or £ 2 an hour wage increase – whichever is the highest – to make up for the loss of NHS salary packages over the past decade.
Rachel Harrison, GMB’s national officer, said: “After their heroic efforts during the pandemic, NHS workers are now being urged to swallow this miserable wage cut.
“A 3% salary offer does not restore a decade of real wage cuts, does not recognize your Covid efforts, is below inflation and will not cover the proposed increase in social security and pension contributions.
“It’s actually a cut in salary.
“The NHS faces a staffing crisis and is creaking under the pressure of the pandemic.
“Such compensation is a slap in the face for all healthcare workers and is not the right way to fix things.
“NHS workers deserve a 15% restorative wage increase, not that ridiculous offer.”
The Royal College of Nursing will be consulting its members in England on industrial action next month.
Unite and Unison have also warned of industrial action this winter.
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