Nurses condemn 1% pay insult

Organise to fight back together

Unison rep, Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital

Once again, instead of giving an across-the-board rise, they are trying to shift the burden onto local managers. The aim of course is to divide us - local mechanisms are not even set up. You will get nurses doing the same work as somebody next door for less money. It is not a question of us being in a strong position. We should not even be considering local negotiations at this stage. There may not be a big groundswell right now, but my own feeling is that some sort of industrial action will come out of it.

Cicely Palmer, Putney Hospital Unison rep

The offer is an insult and a disgrace. Even the RCN is rebelling. ‘Take it or leave it’ is the government’s attitude. They know that people are afraid for their jobs and, with us, patients come first, so striking is a problem.

Gerry Bradley, Hammersmith Hospital Unison rep

We weren’t surprised at the pay offer, knowing this government. While I would prefer nationally organised negotiations, my members have bills to pay - and they are among the lowest paid. So a local deal could prove better for us here in the short term - particularly if the RCN changes its no-strike policy. We have more experience than the managers, with a 25-year history of union cooperation.

Dave Gray, Hammersmith Hospital RCN rep

In view of this pay insult, my own opinion is that we should ballot to have the strike weapon in our armoury. We need three percent across the board - for everybody from Glasgow to Cornwall. But I can’t see a position where the members would not want local negotiations. As Gerry has said, we work together here: we’re in a very strong position.

Pauline Flores, St Mary’s, London Unison rep

The nurses are not happy - I hope they will ballot for a strike. I myself was made redundant when the department was restructured, but I am still working for the union. We have lost some good Unison nurses and good negotiators have been made redundant. We need strong action, organised nationally.

Joyce Conway, Greenwich Hospital union convener

Everybody has the right to more than an abysmal one percent, but people are just obsessed with keeping their job as we are faced with total closure here. Our plans and hopes lie in making a new start at the Queen Elizabeth.

John Loxley, Whipps Cross Hospital Unison rep

No-one was expecting any different. We had hoped that the doctors would still be in the campaign to give us a stronger position, but I think that we will still get industrial action. In our trust the full three percent would equal 100 job losses, so the important thing is to build the campaign, and not get involved in possible local negotiations.