NHS crisis deepens as Unite ballots 1,000 Manchester and Lancashire workers for strike in early 2023
- Thursday 24 November 2022
Healthcare staff warn NHS on life support and may not survive staffing crisis
Over 1,000 more NHS workers across Manchester and Lancashire have begun balloting for strike action, Unite, which represents some 100,000 NHS workers, said today (Friday).
Unite said its healthcare members are warning the NHS is on ‘life support’ and that without serious investment to stem the recruitment and retention crisis and save failing services it may not survive.
The workers perform roles in nursing, healthcare, science, counselling, psychology, dentistry, pharmacology, audiology, optometry, administration, IT and building maintenance services.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Anyone who has had the misfortune to be taken to hospital in an ambulance or spent far too long waiting for treatment knows the NHS is in a fight for its life. Burnt out low paid staff, who have seen their wages attacked every year for more than a decade, are leaving in droves.
“The NHS is on life support and without proper pay and funding it may not survive. That’s why NHS workers are standing up: They know that decent pay is essential to the service’s future.”
The constant real terms pay cuts and the increasing pressure that workers are experiencing are key factors in the growing vacancies for staff in the NHS. Nearly one in 10 posts – 132,000 positions – are now vacant and the figure is continuing to grow.
Unite members at NHS Blood and Transplant and the Manchester University Hospitals, Christie, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, East Lancashire Hospitals, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, Greater Manchester Mental Health and Warrington and Holton NHS trusts are being balloted. The ballot results are expected in late December.
Unite has begun balloting nearly 10,000 health service workers across the country for strike action on top of thousands of other NHS workers who it has been balloting since October. Unite is also planning to ballot thousands more in the coming months.
For broadcast interviews and media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.
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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.