UNISON staff at NHS announce strike action


UNISON members working for the NHS will take strike action in a row over pay.

This will include staff working for the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the Eastbourne DGH and Conquest Hospital in Hastings.

UNISON members will walk out for 12 hours from 9am on Thursday January 29.

Staff have already taken two four-hour stoppages in October and November.

This third round of action is in protest at the government’s decision to reject the one per cent pay rise for NHS staff.

Tony Jones UNISON South East regional head of health said, “We decided not to take strike action over the Christmas period as services were already at breaking point at this time.

“Our members are demonstrating their concern for patient safety.

“I only wish the employers and government would do the same.

“Our members’ pay has been frozen or held down for the past five years and there is no end in sight.

“On average, they have lost around 10 per cent in the value of their pay over the life of this parliament.

“Other groups will get their recommended pay increases – for MPs this is 11 per cent.”

After the 12 hour strike, staff will then work to rule between January 30 and February 24 which means they will be working their contracted hours and will take their breaks and not do unpaid overtime. This will be followed a 24-hour strike on Wednesday February 25.

The East Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust said it did not expect any major disruption as a result of the strike action.