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
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