Sussex health staff could strike over pay row

Caroline Fife, Unison regional organiser for Sussex

Caroline Fife, Unison regional organiser for Sussex

First published in News by

Thousands of NHS workers across Sussex will be balloted over strike action in a row over pay.

Unison is asking all of its members to back walkouts after the Government’s decision to not accept a recommended across-the-board 1% wage rise for NHS staff.

If approved, the industrial action will take place in early October, followed by further waves of strike action.

Hospitals across the county could face disruption if nurses, therapists, porters, paramedics, medical secretaries, cooks, cleaners and healthcare assistants decide to join picket lines.

The union said the Government decision not to implement the 1% pay rise of the NHS Pay Review Body would deny 60% of NHS staff and 70% of nurses a pay rise for the next two years.

Caroline Fife, Unison regional organiser for Sussex, said balloting for action was not an easy decision but staff felt they were not being recognised or rewarded by the Government for their work and the pressures they faced.

She said: “Staff work longer hours and are under huge stress as they cope in an environment where trusts constantly have to make savings.

“It is expensive to live in Brighton and Hove and so it is no surprise that NHS trusts are finding it difficult to recruit staff such as band-five nurses.

“This is a national issue and not directed at individual trusts, but we have reached a point where enough is enough. Staff have had pay freezes and very low pay increases below the rate of inflation. Wages are not keeping up with the cost of living.”

The ballot will begin on August 28 and run until September 18.

Members will be asked if they will take strike action or action short of a strike.

The GMB will also ballot its NHS members at the same time.

NHS workers are following teachers, firefighters, council employees and government workers who took part in a protest over pay conditions and pensions earlier this month.

Comments (2)

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6:18pm Wed 23 Jul 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

There's a protest march in Eastbourne this Saturday 26th July against all the cuts in services to the NHS that is being made by this government.
There's a protest march in Eastbourne this Saturday 26th July against all the cuts in services to the NHS that is being made by this government. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 1

6:29pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Carboxyhaemoglobin says...

A breakdown of UNFILLED (i.e. below staffing template) trained nurse / midwife shifts at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, during May 2014, based on the Trust's own data:

Trevor Mann baby unit - 1920.5 hours unfilled
Intensive Care - 1037 hours unfilled
Level 7A cardiac - 897 hours unfilled
Albion & Lewes - 448.5 hours unfilled
Chichester - 471.5 hours unfilled
Level 8A West - 398 hours unfilled
Level 9A - 346.5 hours unfilled
Level 6A cardiac - 331 hours unfilled
Level 8 surgical - 290 hours unfilled
Maternity - 275.5 hours unfilled
MAU - 267 hours unfilled
Bristol - 184 hours unfilled
Vallance - 172.5 hours unfilled
Emerald unit - 161 hours unfilled
Egremont & Catherine James - 138.5 hours unfilled
Howard 2 & Grant - 99.5 hours unfilled
Cardiac day - 86.5 hours unfilled
Trafford - 81 hours unfilled
Haematology-oncology - 69 hours unfilled
Solomon - 64 hours unfilled
Level 8A east - 58 hours unfilled
Howard 1 - 11.5 hours unfilled
Gynaecology - 11.5 hours unfilled
Jowers - 0 hours unfilled
A&E - no data provided

Total: 7,819.5 hours unfilled shifts. Equivalent to 651 long-day or night shifts or 52 full-time staff. This does not include data for A&E, unfilled HCA shifts or fluctuations in demand which may call for more staff than planned in a template.

Well done to all staff and ward managers fighting to deliver care with sub-minimal staffing.
A breakdown of UNFILLED (i.e. below staffing template) trained nurse / midwife shifts at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, during May 2014, based on the Trust's own data: Trevor Mann baby unit - 1920.5 hours unfilled Intensive Care - 1037 hours unfilled Level 7A cardiac - 897 hours unfilled Albion & Lewes - 448.5 hours unfilled Chichester - 471.5 hours unfilled Level 8A West - 398 hours unfilled Level 9A - 346.5 hours unfilled Level 6A cardiac - 331 hours unfilled Level 8 surgical - 290 hours unfilled Maternity - 275.5 hours unfilled MAU - 267 hours unfilled Bristol - 184 hours unfilled Vallance - 172.5 hours unfilled Emerald unit - 161 hours unfilled Egremont & Catherine James - 138.5 hours unfilled Howard 2 & Grant - 99.5 hours unfilled Cardiac day - 86.5 hours unfilled Trafford - 81 hours unfilled Haematology-oncology - 69 hours unfilled Solomon - 64 hours unfilled Level 8A east - 58 hours unfilled Howard 1 - 11.5 hours unfilled Gynaecology - 11.5 hours unfilled Jowers - 0 hours unfilled A&E - no data provided Total: 7,819.5 hours unfilled shifts. Equivalent to 651 long-day or night shifts or 52 full-time staff. This does not include data for A&E, unfilled HCA shifts or fluctuations in demand which may call for more staff than planned in a template. Well done to all staff and ward managers fighting to deliver care with sub-minimal staffing. Carboxyhaemoglobin
  • Score: 3

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