Vote YES!

The UNISON Health Service Group Executive voted today (21st September) to move to an Industrial Action Ballot in defence of pensions.

This was not an easy decision, but a vital decision, and one that was endorsed and supported by all the executive.

Negotiations with the government have been ongoing for some time but the main issues of pay more – work longer – get less are still being forced through.

We cannot sit back any longer and let the Coalition steal our pensions and future rights with deception and lies.

The current proposals have to be withdrawn and a proper, fair, jointly negotiated agreement put in its place.

Let us strengthen the hand of our negotiators.

Pensions are too important to ignore and the Union urges everyone to vote yes to industrial action when the ballot comes out.

With a pay freeze, reduction in LAS posts, a draconian financial squeeze, cost of living rises, increased demand, Health Bill with the NHS privatisation threats etc: we know our members will rise to this call. This is a fight of our life.

Certain legal procedures have to be gone through first but the following timescale is accurate at the time of writing:

  • 28th September 2011 – Ballot notices go out to NHS Employers.
  • 13th October 2011 – Ballot Papers go out.
  • 3rd November 2011 – Ballot closes.

The ballot paper will ask ‘are you prepared to take industrial action in the form of strike action’.

There will be a day of action and protest on 30th November 2011.

There will be plenty of information coming out in the next week or so before the ballot dates and every member will get all the information available. The website will also be updated as and when.

Emergency cover issues will be discussed with the Service as soon as the Union confirms to the employer that a legal ballot will be taking place.

The UNISON National Ambulance Sector will meet on the 27th September 2011 to discuss the role of ambulance workers on the day of action and I will update UNISON LAS members after that.

LAS UNISON will also confirm the arrangements for any Service/Area wide meetings with Stewards and members in the run up to 30th November.

Eric Roberts

Branch Secretary