Commenting on the meeting held today with the secretary of state for health and social care Stephen Barclay, Unite national lead officer, Onay Kasab, who attended the meeting, said:

“The meeting was made entirely pointless by the attitude of Stephen Barclay who refused to discuss pay. How he hopes to get movement and resolve the dispute without discussing the key issue is mystifying.

“It is disgraceful that the government is failing to take action to avoid NHS strikes, the unions are willing to talk but the government isn’t.

“Barclay was only prepared to talk about derogations, which was futile as these have been thrashed out and agreed down to a fine tooth-comb at a local level.

“His appeal that the agreements on emergency cover are respected was frankly insulting. Our members are taking strike action as an absolute last resort as they witness the NHS crumble on a daily basis. Not only are they committed to covering emergency calls tomorrow, but our members will immediately leave picket lines if a trust for any reason can’t cope with emergencies."


Notes to editors

Media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.