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Pickets at Whittington and Royal Free abandoned as strike over NHS pay called off

PUBLISHED: 23:37 27 January 2015 | UPDATED: 23:37 27 January 2015

Nurses and midwives form a picket line outside the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead during industrial action last October. Picture: Polly Hancock

Nurses and midwives form a picket line outside the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead during industrial action last October. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Planned strike action by health workers in a row over NHS pay has been suspended after a breakthrough in talks.

Radiographers at the Whittington Hospital in Archway take to the picket line in industrial action over NHS pay during the first walk-out last year. Picture: UnisonRadiographers at the Whittington Hospital in Archway take to the picket line in industrial action over NHS pay during the first walk-out last year. Picture: Unison

Members of Unison, the GMB and Unite were due to walk out on Thursday and again next month in protest at the government’s refusal to accept a recommended one per cent wage rise for all NHS staff.

Picket lines were expected at the Whittington Hospital, in Archway, the Royal Free, in Hampstead, and University College London Hospital in Euston.

But talks between union leaders and officials at the Department of Health have led to fresh proposals which will now be put to workers.

The offer is believed to include a consolidated 1 per cent payment for staff up to senior level, an additional £200 consolidated payment for lower paid staff, the first point on the pay scale to be abolished and the second raised to £15,100.

There is also a commitment from the government to consider recommendations on pay increases for NHS staff made by the independent NHS Pay Review Body in 2016/17.

Unison’s head of health, Christina McAnea, said: “The two strike days staged by health workers last year have moved the government to negotiate with the unions.

“This isn’t a great offer but it addresses some of the key concerns unions have about low pay in the NHS. In the interest of patients’ safety unions will now consult members. It will be up to members to decide whether to accept or reject the proposals.”

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