Unite members say no to government pay offer
Members of UK's largest union have voted by a narrow margin to reject the government's 1% NHS pay offer
Members of UK's largest union Unite have voted to reject the government's new pay offer for NHS workers.
Just over half voted against the 1 per cent offer for 2015/16, with 49 per cent accepting it.
The government's offer – made in January – came just days before unions, including Unite, Unison and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), were due to stage a further strike, with another walkout planned for February.
Members of various healthcare unions went on strike in October and November last year.
Both the GMB and the RCM have accepted the government's offer. Unison and the RCN are still consulting their members and are expected to announce their results later this week.
It is not yet clear whether Unite will reject the government pay offer, despite a slim majority of members voting against it.
Unite's national officer for the health sector Barrie Brown said the union was waiting to see how Unison and RCN members would vote. 'Clearly, if the overwhelming majority of unions are prepared to accept the offer, then we would be very much in the minority. We recognise that we need to look to the future.'
He said the pay offer would be discussed at the next meeting of the NHS staff council, which will be held on March 9, and reviewed by Unite's national council.
The industrial action followed a refusal by health secretary Jeremy Hunt to honour the recommendation of the NHS Pay Review Body that all staff on Agenda for Change terms be given a 1 per cent rise in 2014/15.