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Unite NHS members call for strike ballot

NHS members in Unite have, in an unprecedented move, voted for a ballot on industrial action. The vote came alongside an overwhelming rejection of the government's 7.99% three year pay offer.

Unite members are angry at the imposition of a below inflation pay deal that equates to a pay cut. Despite calls from Unite the government has refused to get back around the table to discuss the members' concerns.

Unite Assistant General Secretary Gail Cartmail said: "This call for a ballot on industrial action is unprecedented in the NHS. It sends a very clear message that our members are angry and frustrated at being asked to accept this woefully inadequate three year pay deal.

"This substantial pay cut comes at a time of increasing inflation, massive rises in utility costs and soaring petrol prices."

In addition to the call for an industrial action ballot Unite members will be holding a day of protest on Thursday 18 July where they will voice their anger and disapproval of this cut in their pay.

Gail Cartmail added: "The day of protest will be an opportunity for our members to say that they are not prepared to take the blame for inflation."

Unite is concerned that the current pay offer imposed on health sector workers will damage NHS morale, recruitment and retention.

Unite Health Sector National Officer Karen Reay said: "The message to government from our members in the health sector and across public services is clear. This government must listen and act on our members concerns. This unprecedented call for a ballot for industrial action must be heard."