East Sussex NHS Unison members to strike


UNISON members working in the NHS in the South East and the whole of England will stage their second four-hour stoppage on between 7am and 11am on Monday (November 24).

This includes the Eastbourne District General Hospital (DGH) where the picket line will begin at 7am.

This will be followed by six days of action short of strike action between Tuesday and Sunday when members will work to rule and not do any unpaid overtime.

A total of 68 per cent of members voted yes for industrial action and 88 per cent to action short of strike action.

UNISON members, including nurses, paramedics, therapists, cooks, cleaners, healthcare assistants and admin staff are among those taking industrial action.

A recent Income Data Services (IDS) survey for NHS trade unions revealed that increased workload, low pay, constant restructures and the stresses of the job are among the reasons why two thirds (66 per cent) of NHS workers have considered quitting.

Tony Jones, UNISON Regional head of health, said, “For many in the NHS, last month’s strike was a first. The next industrial action will be bigger as more unions will be joining it. Jeremy Hunt needs to listen to NHS workers who feel this Government is treating them with contempt.

“NHS workers are overworked and underpaid. Most patients would be shocked to know that one in five of the NHS workers who care for them need to do a second job just to survive and many have to borrow money every month to make ends meet or resort to foodbanks.

“Low morale is endemic. And this is echoed by a King’s Fund report which shows staff morale is now one of NHS finance directors’ top three concerns. Twice as many from the previous quarter.”

NHS workers took strike action over pay for the first time in 32 years on Monday October 13. This was followed by a week of action short of strike action when members took their meal and rest breaks.