UNISON, the largest NHS trade union, has written to Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman (today) to advise that UNISON Scotland’s Health Committee will meet on Tuesday (20 October) to consider a consultative ballot for industrial action.
UNISON met with the Scottish Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman on 15 September. They felt they had agreed to reopen the present three-year pay deal and consider a consolidated flat rate increase for all NHS workers in this calendar year.
UNISON then wrote to Scottish Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman on 23 September 2020 and 2 October 2020 asking for an update. No response has been received.
Willie Duffy, UNISON Scotland’s head of health said: “We need action. The time for warm words is over. NHS Staff were delighted when Jeanne Freeman listened to our members and seemed to recognise the need for them to be paid fairly for the essential work they do. We realise this is a tough time for our politicians, but it is tough for health staff too. They are now facing a second wave of the virus.
We are hugely grateful to the public for their support. But the truth is none of this helps NHS Staff to pay their bills. It’s now time for action on pay. If we don’t hear from Jeanne Freeman before Tuesday 20 October we will have no choice but to consult our members on industrial action.”
Tom Waterson, chair of UNISON Scotland’s health committee, said: “NHS Staff cannot wait any longer. Jeane Freeman must act now to prevent any industrial action taking place. NHS staff are working under significant pressure as they face a possible second wave of the virus. Staff report they are as busy as they were in April.
Once again, NHS workers are putting themselves at risk. We are, once again, hearing concerns about appropriate PPE, and that more staff are coming down with the virus, which causing staff capacity problems. NHS staff cannot wait any longer for action on pay”
UNISON is the largest trade union in health and the largest trade union in Scotland.
Today’s (Friday) Letter to Jeane Freeman, Scottish Health Secretary
11am to 1pm Tuesday 20 October, UNISON Scotland’s Health Committee will meet to consider a consultative ballot for industrial action on NHS pay.
15 September UNISON met with the Scottish Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman
23 September 2020 UNISON wrote to Scottish Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman
2 October 2020 UNISON wrote to Scottish Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman
UNISON Pay Up Now campaign page
Full text of letter sent today (Friday 16 October 2020)
To date I have not received any response to my letters of 23 September 2020 and 2 October 2020.
Whilst I understand that this has been a difficult couple of weeks, with the latest COVID issues, I am extremely disappointed at your failure to respond.
Health staff have also had an extremely busy time and continue to give their all during this crisis. They need you to back up your warm words with action. The position is not helped by MP’s getting awarded a pay rise of £3,300.00 whilst our members struggle day by day to provide first class services.
In our letter of 23 September 2020 we set out that we were looking for a consolidated flat rate increase in this calendar year. Given your reluctance to respond I need to advise that the UNISON Scottish Health Committee meets next Tuesday to consider a consultative ballot for industrial action. Clapping will not pay their bills. Our members cannot wait any longer for you to act to prevent any industrial action taking place.
As always we are more than happy to meet with you.
Head of Health UNISON Scotland
Tom Waterson, chair of health committee: 07753 627 575
Willie Duffy, head of health: 07904 342 129
Danny Phillips, communications officer: 07944 644110 firstname.lastname@example.org
Trisha Hamilton, communications officer: 07943 507 307 email@example.com