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Facilities staff balloted on industrial action

Cooks, cleaners, healthcare assistants and porters are among those being balloted – alongside nurses, therapists, paramedics and medical secretaries - on industrial action, including strikes, over pay.

They are among 400,000 NHS workers in England who are members of Unison, the Royal College of Midwives, GMB and Unite: the unions made the announcements in a coordinated response to the pay deal put forward by the Government in March.

Ministers have given NHS staff 1%, but it does not apply to those who get automatic progression-in-the-job rises. These are designed to reward professional development and are given to about half of staff and are worth 3% a year on average.

But the decision by Ministers went against the recommendation of the independent pay review board, which had called for an across-the-board rise.

In Scotland, the recommendation was agreed to in full. Northern Ireland is yet to make a decision, while Wales is doing the same as England but has given extra money to the lowest paid.

Unison has about 300,000 health members, including nurses, therapists, porters, paramedics, medical secretaries, cooks, cleaners and healthcare assistants, while 26,000 midwives are being balloted.

Unite is balloting nearly 90,000 members, including those in Northern Ireland and Wales, while the GMB has about 30,000 NHS members, including ambulance staff.
If they vote ‘yes’ to industrial action, it is likely to start in October.