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Unions accuse Government of lies as NHS staff strike

Dave Prentis Credit: PA Wire

Unions have accused the Government of lying over NHS pay as health workers across the country take to the picket lines.

The Government said it had put forward plans to guarantee all staff would get at least 1% this year and next, but they had been rejected by the unions.

Unison leader Dave Prentis said: "It's ludicrous that the Government is keeping up the pretence that all staff are getting a 1% pay rise, and it doesn't matter how often they say it; it's simply not true."

He said the 1% pay rise recommended by the independent NHS Pay Review Body for all NHS workers had been rejected by the Government.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "NHS staff are our greatest asset and we want to make the current pay system fairer - which is why we have put forward proposals that would guarantee all staff would get at least a 1% pay rise this year and next, but these have been rejected by the unions.

"We have taken tough decisions to increase the NHS budget, but we can't afford a consolidated pay rise in addition to increments without risking 10,000 frontline jobs."

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NHS: 'Robust plans' in place to deal with strike

"Robust plans" are in place to protect patients during a four-hour strike by thousands of health workers today, NHS England said.

Around 150 police officers will drive or help crew ambulances in London as part of the plans, with paramedics among those walking out in the row over pay.

NHS organisations have tried and tested plans to deal with a range of disruptions including industrial action.

We are working with the NHS to ensure there are robust plans for November 24 that protect the safety, welfare and service provided to patients.

– NHS England spokeswoman
  1. National

NHS workers to stage four-hour strike in pay row

NHS workers will stage a four-hour strike today in a row with the Government over pay.

Members of 11 unions will walk out for four hours today in the row over pay. Credit: PA Wire

Midwives, nurses, radiographers, paramedics and psychiatric staff will walk out from 7am in England and 8am in Northern Ireland in protest at the Government's refusal to accept a recommended 1% wage rise for all NHS employees.

Unison leader Dave Prentis said the second strike in a month should "sound alarm bells" in Westminster as the "anger is spreading".

A Department of Health spokesperson said the government "can't afford a consolidated pay rise in addition to increments without risking 10,000 frontline jobs".

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Second day of NHS strike action

Today is the second day of action for NHS staff in our region - including midwives, who walked out on strike for the first time ever yesterday in a row over pay.

Today, union members from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire will follow yesterday's four-hour walk-out with four days of "work to rule".

Tony Pearson, from Unison Yorkshire and Humberside, explains that it is to demonstrate NHS workers often work through their breaks.

Trade unions want a 1% pay rise for all NHS staff, but the government says that will cost too much.

'Enough is enough. We need to make a stand'

Nurses and hospital workers across the North East NHS have been striking this morning in a dispute over pay. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Cat Rowney, an NHS midwife at Newcastle's RVI hospital, has spoken of the anger she and fellow hospital workers across the North East feel.

It has got very bad in the last few years, we're in a decade long baby boom at the moment so there's more and more babies being born with less and less staff.

People aren't encouraged to come into midwifery anymore because of all the issues that are going on. We work very long hours, we often work unpaid overtime, we don't get breaks, we don't get to have anything to eat, we don't get to go to the toilet.

It's got to the point where enough's enough and we need to make a stand and let everyone hear our voice.

– Cat Rowney

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NHS staff say strike action is 'last resort'

NHS workers at Leeds General Infirmary who have taken part in today's four hour strike have said industrial action is a last resort.

Edward Barr from Unite, Matthew Barker who is a porter, Fiona Powell, an NHS worker and midwives Liz Furness and Anita Marshall, have been speaking to ITV Yorkshire about why they chose to strike.

Eighty people on RVI picket line

Turnout at the entrance to the Royal Victoria Infirmary is about 80 people.

80 people protest at the RVI Credit: ITV

"I'm really impressed with the turnout. The atmosphere is absolutely fantastic and everyone is pulling together to make it clear to the Government that we deserve this pay rise."

– Rebecca Banks, who has been a midwife for 18 years
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