Further strikes mooted which could affect Milton Keynes Hospital

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Health staff across the country are being balloted over proposed strike action.

Unison, the UK’s largest health union, is to ballot its 300,000 NHS members. The ballot is in response to the government’s decision to deny 60 per cent of NHS staff and 70 per cent of nurses a pay rise for the next two years, ignoring the NHS Pay Review Body’s recommendations.

The strike would cover health workers including nurses, therapists, porters, paramedics, medical secretaries, cooks, cleaners and healthcare assistants, including those at Milton Keynes Hospital. A ‘Yes’ vote will lead to stoppages in early October, followed by further strikes and action short of a strike over the autumn and winter.

Christina McAnea, UNISON head of health, said: “Balloting for strike action is not an easy decision – especially in the NHS.

“But this government is showing complete contempt for NHS workers. It has swept aside the Pay Review Body’s recommendations and ignored the union’s call for a fair deal.

“Our members are angry at the way they are being treated and we are left with little choice but to ballot for action.

“We hope to work closely with the other health unions to plan and coordinate action. It is not too late however for Jeremy Hunt to agree to further talks, without pre-conditions, to settle the dispute.”