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Union gives formal notice of health worker strike

Hospital and ambulance workers are due to strike on 29th January Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The GMB union has issued formal notice of a strike by health workers planned for 29th January.

It comes as union officials return to talks with the Government later today aimed at averting industrial action.

GMB said it had served NHS employers in England and Northern Ireland with the necessary information about the stoppage involving hospital and ambulance workers.

Ambulance members of the union will strike for 24 hours from 0001, while other health workers will take action for 12 hours from midday.

Members of Unison and Unite are also set to go on strike on the same day.

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Hunt to chair emergency meeting over planned NHS strikes

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will today chair a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee to put in place contingency plans for an NHS strike.

Talks between union leaders and the Health Department aimed at averting the industrial action are set to continue on Friday.

News of the Cobra meeting came within hours of the talks being adjourned on Wednesday evening.

Health workers across England and Northern Ireland are due to go on strike next Thursday, January 29, in a dispute over pay rises.

Hunt in last-ditch effort to stop NHS strike action

Crucial talks being held today in a last-ditch bid to avert a strike by thousands of NHS workers in a bitter dispute over pay.

Today's talks were arranged after a meeting last night between Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and officials from several unions.

The industrial action in England and Northern Ireland is still planned for January 29 as unions continue to criticise the Government for refusing to accept a recommended 1% pay rise for all NHS staff.

Health unions 'hopeful' strike could be called off

Health unions are hopeful that industrial actions scheduled for next week could be cancelled after progress on a new pay deal, ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports:

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Jeremy Hunt calls union meeting ahead of NHS strike

Members of Unison, Unite and the GMB in hospitals in England are set to strike on January 29th. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

The Health Secretary has called unions to a meeting ahead of the latest strike planned by NHS workers in their bitter row with the Government over pay.

Sources told the Press Association that officials from several unions had been invited to the talks on Tuesday with Jeremy Hunt.

The meeting comes just over a week before a planned walkout by NHS workers in England and Northern Ireland in protest at the coalition's refusal to accept a recommended 1% pay rise for all staff.

Members of Unison, Unite and the GMB in hospitals in England will walk out for 12 hours between 9am and 9pm on January 29th, followed by a work to rule until February 24th.

Christina McAnea, Unison's head of health, said: "We have been asking for a meeting with the secretary of state since the dispute began.

"We hope the meeting will give us an opportunity to have serious discussions on how to resolve pay and staffing issues."

Union: 'We have the highest rail fares in Europe'

At a TUC demonstration outside King's Cross, Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA transport union, said:

Wage rises are just not keeping up with fare rises. We have the highest fares in Europe.

People are forking out a large slice of their disposable income on fares.

Also, we are not encouraging the turn-up-and-go-railway because if you pay on the day the ticket price is very high.

– Mick Whelan, general secretary of train drivers' union Aslef

Unite: Report paints 'very bleak' picture of NHS funding

The head of the Unite union, Rachael Maskell, has said that the plan published by the NHS today makes it clear that it will not avoid a funding black hole.

[NHS England head] Simon Stevens makes precious little mention of the plummeting morale of the 1.3 million workforce, which is becoming a worrying pattern for this Government with its continued failure to invest in skills, retention and development.

In the last four years, the NHS has been battered by the funding crisis, resulting in £20 billion being sucked out of the service during this parliament.

The picture remains very bleak and it is clear that the plan will not plug the predicted £30 billion financial black hole by 2020/21.

– Rachael Maskell, unite
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