Tuesday, 12 January 2016

UNISON Support Junior Doctors Strike

Across England today NHS staff will be using their breaks and lunchtimes to join their junior doctor colleagues on BMA picket lines, says UNISON.

Many suspect the dispute over government plans to cut payments for night and weekend work is likely to be a dress rehearsal for what could happen should ministers turn their attention to the wider NHS workforce.

Health workers across the NHS are in total support of the junior doctors’ refusal to accept changes to their unsocial hours payments that the health secretary has been attempting to impose, says UNISON.

Ravi Subramanian, UNISON West Midlands Regional Secretary said:

"An NHS where the same high quality care is provided, regardless of the time of day or the day of the week, will notcome cheap. But Jeremy Hunt thinks he can offer more to patients by paying dedicated healthcare professionals much less.

Other NHS staff fear that the dispute with junior doctors could be the dry run for a much bigger confrontation. They suspect ministers also want to axe the unsocial hours payments that they get for working nights and weekends.

Working additional night and weekend shifts has helped many health staff survive the government's harsh and ongoing pay freeze. That's why so many of them across England will be joining picket lines during their breaks and lunchtimes tomorrow to show the health secretary that, while everyone wants to see a seven day NHS, his approach to achieving it is completely wrong."

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