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GMB Birmingham & West Midlands Region

Last ditch talks in NHS pay dispute

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

GMB In Last Ditch Talks Today With Secretary Of State For Health To Avert Strike Action In NHS On 29th Jan In England And Northern Ireland.  

Mr Hunt caused the dispute by overruling the independent pay review body and he can solve it by allowing negotiations to come up with a fair way forward says GMB. 

GMB, the union for NHS and ambulance staff, is attending last ditch talks today (21st Jan) with Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Health to avert strike action in the pay dispute in England and Northern Ireland. 

A 24 stoppage by GMB members in the ambulance service will commence at 00.01 and will continue until 23.59 on Thursday January 29th. Unison and Unite ambulance members with commence a 12 hour strike from 12 noon on 29th January. 

GMB and the other health unions will also take strike action for Thursday 29 January 2015. This will be a 12 hour stoppage from 9am -9pm in the rest of NHS.  For the other union this action will be followed by action short of strike until 24th Feb. This will be followed with a 24 hour stoppage on Wednesday 25th February 2015, time to be confirmed. 

GMB is issue the necessary formal notices to all NHS employers including ambulance services over the next two days. 

GMB members have already taken part in the strike action in the NHS across England & Northern Ireland on 13th October and 24th November. 

GMB conducted an official ballot of 22,000 members in the NHS in England and Northern Ireland. There was overwhelming support for industrial action to secure a better offer. The pay offer for NHS staff in England and Northern Ireland is 1% cash payment in 2014, restricted to staff not eligible for incremental progression and the same approach in 2015. This goes against the recommendation of the independent NHS Pay Review Body for a 1% consolidated pay rise for all staff. 

Rehana Azam GMB National Officer said "GMB welcome this first opportunity to have talks with the Secretary of State for Health to see if we can avert the strikes in the NHS.  

We are meeting with officials during the day and with the Secretary of State again this evening. 

Regarding Mr Hunt wondering why there is strike action it is quite simple.  Mr Hunt caused the dispute by overruling the independent pay review body and he can solve it by allowing negotiations to come up with a fair way forward. 

GMB continues to hold talks with Ambulance Service Trusts to agree that life-threatening and certain other categories of call will be responded to by GMB ambulance crews during the strikes. Members will respond to Red 1 and Red 2 calls.  In addition, GMB has agreed that the major and hazardous incident team will remain on duty in case a major incident occurs." 

End 

Contact: Rehana Azam, GMB National Officer on 07841 181656 or 

GMB Regional Officers: 

Birmingham & West Midlands Pauline Hinks on 07809 617 761, 
London & East of England Tony Hughes on 07738 958 142 or 
Steve Sweeney on 07703 469403, 
East Midlands, Les Dobbs on 07966 327 967, 
North East and Cumbria, Chris Jukes on 07870 176 733, 
North West, Lisa Ryan 07703 468 968 or Maria Almond 07718 113110, 
Northern Ireland, Michael Mulholland on 07974 018 413, 
South East, Nick Day on 07717 510 047, 
Wales & South West, Paul Gage on 07980 753 117 and 
Yorkshire, Joan Keane on 07958 156841 or 
GMB Press Office: 07921 289880 or 07974 251823.

Notes to editor 

GMB conducted an official ballot of 22,000 members in the NHS in England and Northern Ireland. The result of the ballot show overwhelming support for industrial action against the government and employers pay policies. The result was 78% in favour of strike action and 91% in favour of action short of a strike with a turnout of 23%.

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