Public Backs Strikes For NHS Fair Pay, Poll Shows

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A new opinion poll undertaken on the eve of industrial action by NHS staff on Monday, October 13 reveals overwhelming public support for their campaign for an above inflation rise in pay, with almost two thirds of those questioned saying they thought a continued below inflation one per cent pay cap was unfair.

Asked specifically if they thought keeping a below inflation cap on wages for NHS staff was unfair, 65 per cent said that it was with just 22 per cent saying it was justified and 13 per cent saying they did not know.

On the issue of NHS staff taking industrial tomorrow, 61 per cent of those questioned said that they believed the action was justified, while 27 per cent said they thought it was unjustified and 12 per cent responded that they did not know.

The poll reveals a cross-party consensus among voters supporting both an above one per cent pay rise and support for industrial action.

Among David Cameron’s own voters, support for a wage rise above one per cent was supported by 41 per cent of those questioned, with an almost identical figure, 41.58 per cent of Conservative voters questioned, agreeing that industrial action was justified.

The poll was conducted on Sunday October 12 by Survation and commissioned by Unite the union, whose members will be taking industrial action tomorrow. 1,029 voters across the country were questioned.

Commenting on the results Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, said: “These results are a clear sign of the scale of public support for health workers as they fight for a decent, living wage, and it illustrates just how out of touch David Cameron is when it comes to the NHS and caring for its staff.

“The reality is that this industrial action could have been avoided had the government implemented the recommendations of the independent NHS pay review panel instead of dismissing them out of hand.

“It is high time that this government recognised the huge amount of work our public servants do, the dedication they show and consistently high levels of professionalism they deliver day in day out. Stop mouthing platitudes about valuing the service and start talking about how we pay this vital workforce a decent living wage.”

Unite members will be joining Unison, Ucatt and GMB colleagues on picket lines across the country from 07:30 tomorrow morning (13 October 2014).

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Source: Unite the union media release.

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