Advice for UNISON members during NHS strikes

Unfortunately despite the massive strike votes at NHS trusts across the South West region, the most restrictive trade union legislation in Europe means UNISON members in hospital trusts cannot currently take action.

UNISON will be taking the South Western Ambulance Service out on Wednesday 21st December, but elsewhere members should be aware of some advice if there are strikes at their workplace.

UNISON members should not take part in industrial action organised by other unions

UNISON has balloted our members separately to other trade unions. UNISON members should not take part in any industrial action organised by other unions. If you make an individual decision to refuse to work or cross picket lines when your colleagues from another union are taking action you may find yourself at risk of dismissal.

However UNISON members are free to support legal protests and rallies that take place outside your contracted hours of work and you can offer support and encouragement to those on picket lines during your break-times.

UNISON members should not be pressured to cover for other staff who are on strike

UNISON members should continue with their normal duties and responsibilities. UNISON members should not take on any additional responsibilities being given to them directly as a result of the industrial action unless it is in your contract to do so.

You should only be providing cover where you are contracted to do so, it is timetabled or part of your normal duties.

You should not be moved from the duties you would normally have carried out in order to cover work usually taken by colleagues on industrial action.

If you have any queries regarding the situation in their area, or about covering for staff, contact your local representative or branch office.

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