Unions warn of new NHS strike action

Latest health news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Latest health news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter

Union leaders have warned of further strike action by health sector workers later this month unless ministers resume talks.

Ambulance and hospital staff, including workers at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, took part in two rounds of industrial action in the autumn in protest at the government’s stance over pay.

But the GMB union says its members in the ambulance service are considering holding a 48-hour strike from January 29 to January 31.

Meanwhile, other health service unions are threatening to hold a 12-hour stoppage at the same time, with a further 24-hour strike planned for late February.

The unions are unhappy with the government’s refusal to implement an independent pay board’s recommendation of a one per cent pay rise.

Ministers have argued that such a rise would be unaffordable and would cost jobs.

But Steve Rice, of the GMB, said staff morale was at “breaking point” and claimed the unions had no choice but to escalate their dispute.

He said he expected the government to engage in meaningful negotiation, adding: Our A&E’s are in a crisis and we took the responsible position by not striking over Christmas. This goodwill will not continue in the New Year.”