NHS union GMB plans to escalate opposition to the Government’s 3% pay rise for NHS workers.
GMB will ballot tens of thousands of NHS employees working across 22 NHS Trusts in Yorkshire and North Derbyshire between 10 November and 15 December. Any strikes would then take place early next year.
The GMB has instead called for a 15% pay increase, or £2 per hour, depending on which is highest.
More than nine out of 10 GMB members employed by the NHS have rejected the pay rise.
After the same proportion of health service members of Unite rejected the pay rise, ‘targeted industrial action’ is ‘very much on the cards,’ the union has told Pulse.
Unison has also confirmed to Pulse that it is currently looking into balloting its members, too.
The Government offered NHS staff a one percent pay rise earlier this year, which it then increased to three percent but unions have complained the small increase translates to a real-terms pay cut.
Ben Kirkham, lead NHS officer for GMB in Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, said: ‘GMB members feel undervalued, disenfranchised and angry with the wall of silence they’ve received from the Government.
‘NHS and ambulance workers should not be treated like this after showing outstanding commitment to the public during the challenges of the last 18 months.
‘Facing further cuts after a hike in National Insurance, increased pension costs and the huge increase in energy bills, GMB members have been left with no other choice and will be balloted on whether they wish to take formal industrial action.’
The 3% NHS pay rise, which was backdated to April, did not apply to GP partners or junior doctors as they are part of a multi-year pay agreement. It did apply to salaried GPs, but practices have not received any funding to cover the cost increase.
It comes as the BMA’s GP Committee announced earlier this month that it will ballot GPs on industrial action Government plans including forcing them to declare earnings if they are more than £150,000 per year.
The BMA has also instructed GPs to boycott the Government’s ‘flawed’ plans to boost access to face-to-face GP appointments this winter.