NURSES and other NHS staff could be the next to strike.
Unison said if a walkout got the vote of its 300,000 members it would see action taken as soon as October, with further strikes and action short of a strike over the autumn and winter.
The ballot of nurses, therapists, porters, paramedics, medical secretaries, cooks, cleaners and healthcare assistants follows the government’s decision to ignore the NHS pay review body’s recommendations of a one per cent across the board increase.
Instead proposals would see staff at the top of their incremental scale get what is known as a non-consolidated increase to staff. It means they would get increases for the next two years after which their pay would revert back to what it is now.
Teachers, council workers and firefighters have already gone on strike in rows over pay and pensions.
Franco Buonaguro, Unison West Midlands regional manager, said: “Balloting for strike action is not an easy decision, especially in the NHS.
“We hope to work closely with the other health unions to plan and co-ordinate action. It is not too late, however, for Jeremy Hunt to agree to further talks, without pre-conditions, to settle the dispute.”
The ballot result is expected on September 18.