Derbyshire health workers take part in four-hour strike

Staff at a picket line in Chesterfield with local MP Toby Perkins.Staff at a picket line in Chesterfield with local MP Toby Perkins.
Staff at a picket line in Chesterfield with local MP Toby Perkins.
Health workers across Derbyshire walked out on strike for four hours this morning as part of a row over pay.

UNISON health members, including nurses, porters, midwives, paramedics and radiographers, staged a four-hour strike between 7am and 11am. This is being followed by six days of action short of strike when staff will work to rule.

Picket lines were organised at Newholme Hospital in Bakewell, Chesterfield Royal Hospital and Ilkeston Community Hospital, as well as at hospitals and health centres across the East Midlands.

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Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said: “The fact almost all health unions are taking part in the industrial action should ring alarm bells in Whitehall.

“The anger is spreading and so is the public support for health workers’ cause. The strength of feeling is far from fading and the dispute far from going away.

“All the government has done so far is threaten workers with job cuts.

“If the Secretary of State seriously thinks staff are the NHS’ best asset then he needs to treat them fairly. We are only asking for decent pay for the hard working people the government say they care so much about.

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“There will be plenty of opportunities for Jeremy Hunt to go in trusts around the country to meet with staff who will be working to rule, taking away the goodwill the NHS relies on so much.

“NHS workers in Scotland and Wales will all be getting a 1 per cent pay rise and the Living Wage. So why is the Secretary of State so determined to penalise workers in England?

“The government and NHS Employers need to engage in meaningful talks about how to resolve this dispute. We are prepared to keep up the pressure through the winter and up until the General Election.”