Unite to ballot NHS mental health nurses over industrial action

Unite is to ballot mental health nurses on taking industrial action over three-year pay deal for the NHS.

Unite has rejected the pay deal negotiated between the government and unions. The union represents more than 3,000 nurses, in the Mental Health Nurses Association, a professional section of the union.

Imposed pay deal in NHS

MHNA professional officer Brian Rogers said the mood of the membership about the pay deal was one of “anger and one of disappointment” at teh imposed three year deal. He said: “The three-year deal is going to see our members worse off and that it comes at a time when mental health nurses are having to take more and more responsibility.”

Rogers said the union wanted the government to re-open negotiations on the deal, and said that any action that nurses took would not harm “direct clinical care”.

The ballot, which will be of Unite members across the NHS, will start on 28 October and finish on 12 November. It follows the 95 per cent rejection of the unilaterally imposed three-year deal, worth just under 8%, by Unite members earlier in the year.

Unions write to Acas

News of the ballot came on the day that Unite and the two other local government unions, the GMB and Unison, formally wrote to Acas urging it to begin arbitration of the long-running local government pay dispute.

Unison head of local government Heather Wakefield said: “Local government workers have a right to expect a pay increase by Christmas, and Unison will be presenting solid evidence to ACAS to back up our claim.”

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