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Union calls for pay talks to reopen

Unite, the largest union in the UK, has launched a national petition to reverse the government's hardline stance on below-inflation pay awards for NHS staff.

The aim of the petition is to build up pressure so that the government reopens negotiations with the trade unions and professional associations over the "derisory" three-year pay deal.

The deal, imposed unilaterally by ministers, amounts to 7.99% over three years, when the Retail Prince Index for inflation hit 5% this month (August).

Unite is asking its health sector members, as well as the general public, to sign the petition which its hopes to present to Downing Street later in the year.
The petition said that NHS staff deserve a "fair pay award" and that the present deal is "poor reward for staff who deliver vital healthcare services to patients, service users and local communities, and it will cause long-term damage to the morale of NHS staff".

It states: "At a time when people are experiencing significant rises in living costs they cannot avoid, the government should urgently reopen pay negotiations with the trade unions - we say 'Cut NHS Pay - No Way!'."

Unite National Officer for Health, David Fleming said: "Our members feel very real anger at this slap-in-the face from government for all their dedicated work 365 days a year. They voted overwhelmingly against this derisory pay deal, as they can see the cost-of-living soaring and their household bills going thorough the roof on a daily basis."

Click here to download the petition

Do you agree with this plan? Will you sign the petition? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Abolutely agree and yes I will sign the petition." - Darryl, Manchester

"Yes." - Marcia, Manchester

"I agree with all the comments below. No one else has a three-year pay offer for cost of living rises. In general practice they pay what they like anyway and PCTs are slow to agree these rise increments, so consequently some GPs are slow to pay it whilst awaiting the ok from PCTs. PCTs are quick to say practice nurses HAVE to work Saturdays but slow to say we can be paid extra or overtime rates." - Glynis Baglin, Stockport

"Yes absolutely." - Carolyn Downs

"Yes I agree and will sign the petition." - Elaine Kearney, Glasgow

"Yes I will sign the petition." - Mary McBride, Newcastle upon Tyne

"To expect the workforce of the NHS to prop up the country's finances for the next three years on our 'generous' agreement, while the cost of fuel, food and essentials soars through the roof is an absolute farce! Yes - I agree that a review is necessary and will sign the petition." - Lindsay Wilson, Doncaster

"Yes I agree and will sign petition." - M Lowe, Greater Glasgow

"Yes I will sign the petition. I am disgusted at this offer. It is a slap in the face." - Jackie Flynn, Ayrshire

"Yes I agree. I have just been refused an increment." - Theresa Mulroy, Manchester

"Yes I agree and will sign." - Angela Leach, Wirral

"When the contribution to society is measured, pay awards to NHS staff is derisory compared to those awarded in the city and finance in general who, let's face it are often making money off other people's misfortune." - Judith Coulson

"Yes I agree and I will sign the petition." - Kairen Holland-Rocker, Kent

"Yes I will sign the petition." - Sharon Norbury, Davyhulme