Hartlepool healthworkers to strike over ‘deplorable’ pay

The University Hospital of Hartlepool

The University Hospital of Hartlepool

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NHS staff in Hartlepool are set to stage a walkout in a dispute over “deplorable” pay.

Healthcare staff at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will join counterparts from across the region when they go on strike on Monday, from 7am-11am.

The employees will take action short of strike action for the rest of the week.

A picket line will be in place outside the hospital, in Holdforth Road, on Monday.

Members of the Unison union are calling for fair pay.

It comes after an initial strike took place on October 13 after the Coalition’s government’s controversial decision not to accept a recommended one per cent pay rise for all NHS staff.

The union says the Government is doing nothing to tackle poverty pay in the NHS, where a third of staff earn less than £21,000 a year.

Unison is campaigning for an immediate pay rise of one per cent, as recommended by the NHS Pay Review Body.

Clare Williams, Unison regional convenor and health worker, said: “No health worker takes industrial action lightly.

“Year on year we are seeing our pay eroded, while delivering a high standard of care against ever-increasing demands with reduced staffing levels.

“Even a straight one per cent increase would be nowhere near enough to meet the massive cost of living increases that NHS staff have coped with since 2010. Staff are on average, 10 per cent worse off than when the Coalition came to power.

“The strike is a clear message to this Government to value dedicated NHS staff.

“It is deplorable that the Coalition Government can treat health workers so shoddily.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has previously said thousands of staff would have to be laid off if the rise came into force.