Strikes in health service mark start of widespread action over pay


In Northern Ireland, industrial action in the health service, organised by the UNISON and NIPSA trade unions began on 5 December and was due to be stepped up with a one-day strike on 12 December. The RCN nurses’ union will take strike action in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for the first time ever with the dates announced as 15 and 20 December. Ambulance workers – represented by UNISON, GMB and UNITE – have also voted for strike over most regions of England and Wales with action planned for 21 December. In Scotland, health unions are consulting over an improved pay offer that would deliver pay rises of just over 11% for the lowest paid. The results of ballots are expected in the week beginning 12 December. Meanwhile, in central government, the PCS trade union is planning a campaign of targeted industrial action across the civil service and agencies over pay, jobs and pensions that will begin in the Rural Payments Agency on 13 December, followed by National Highways from 16 December and then in parts of the Department for Work and Pensions from 19 December. There is separate action in the courts service and UNISON and Prospect have also voted for action over pay in the Environment Agency.

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