NHS union members on strike over pay


East Sussex NHS staff were out in force on Monday morning in a dispute with the government over pay.

UNISON and GMB members picketed at the entrance to the DGH form 7am for four hours.

Motorists passing by were tooting their horns in support of the picket line.

Jane Marter, a UNISON rep at the East Sussex NHS Trust, said, “One third of the non-medical workforce are in workplace poverty.

“Some are relying on benefits and some are increasingly turning to foodbanks to feed their families, and that is wrong. We need fairly paid, motivated staff.”

The four-hour stoppage was followed by six days of ‘working to rule’, where members only work their contracted hours and do not do any unpaid overtime.

The South East Coast Amblance Service also saw union members strike on Monday across the region.

However an ambulance spokesman said there were ‘robust’ plans in place, so the strikes would not affect its service. 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.”

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.