Blog: Final chance to get those ballots in

Joanne Kaye on the work UNISON is doing on NHS pay.

We have spoken to thousands of NHS workers over the past few weeks, our branch activists and organisers have been clocking up their steps as they walk the wards at hospitals across the South West, day and night.

While in the regional offices, our staff have been supporting reps by phonebanking as many members as we can. We’ve affectionately called this ‘Project Zero’ as we aim to speak to every single UNISON member working in the NHS.

But why?

The reason is simple, we believe our members are worth more. It’s vital the government gets behind a proper pay rise for staff. The focus should be on permanent, well-paid jobs rather than patching up the system with expensive agency staff.

Hospitals across the country are setting up food banks for NHS workers, the fact that we need food banks for the people that keep our National Health Service running is a national disgrace.

Meanwhile, the current health secretary (if you can keep up with who that is right now) is offering his ‘admiration’ and an ‘open door’ yet the chancellor, despite announcing money for the NHS in the autumn budget, has offered nothing for the pockets of health care staff.

Our porters, our nurses, our health care assistants, our physiotherapists, our radiographers, our medical secretaries, the list goes on – they all deserve an above inflation pay rise. And right now, is their chance to vote for action and send a clear message to the government that enough is enough.

This campaign has shown what an incredible union we are, we’re pulling together to get every single vote over the line. It’s a dispute no one wants, but it’s a fight we’re ready for. There’s just a few days left to get your ballots returned. If NHS pay doesn’t rise, we will.