NHS work-to-rule vow as Unite continues fight against pay deal

Unite has vowed that its NHS members will hold a day of action in December over the government’s NHS pay offer.

The largest union in the country, Unite said it would hold a ‘work to rule’ day on Wednesday, 3 December over what it described as the “derisory”, 7.99%, three-year NHS pay deal on offer from the government.

It has threatened industrial action in early 2009 if the government does not make the “necessary concessions”.

Unite’s joint general secretary Derek Simpson said: “The government’s strategy on the economy doesn’t fit with its strategy on public sector pay. Our members voted to take industrial action for the first time and the government should take very serious notice.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: “The pay deal was negotiated with all the unions, including Unite. The majority of NHS staff voted to accept the multi-year agreement and the new rates for 2008-09 are already being paid.”

“The multi-year arrangements are a good deal that ensures security for NHS staff and allows them to plan for their future and the future of their families. It will help those on the lowest wages, increase the earning potential for hundreds of thousands of staff and allow quicker progression up the pay ladder,” he said.

The decision to take industrial action came as the Conservatives revealed the Department of Health’s spending on the salaries of its board members had increased by between 29% and 38% in 2007-08.

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