NHS workers take to picket line in Horsham

JPCT 241114 S14490703x Horsham. Midwives and ambulance workers on strike -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141124-104136001
JPCT 241114 S14490703x Horsham. Midwives and ambulance workers on strike -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141124-104136001

Midwives, paramedics and technicians took to the picket line in Horsham on Monday morning (November 24) in a continuing row over pay.

Around a dozen health workers enjoyed tea, cake and the support of passers by, as they staged the protest on Hurst Road.

It was just the second time in the Royal College of Midwives’ 130-year history that the union voted to strike - following last month’s inaugural protest.

Fiona Ridpath, of Horsham Community Midwives, said: “We didn’t think it would get to a second time, but we don’t know what else we can do.

“We are only asking for one per cent (pay increase). That is what the independent pay body recommended, that we get one per cent.

“We have had a huge amount of support. We don’t want to be here, so realising how many people support what we do on a day to day basis is really nice.”

The midwives were joined by ambulance workers, and the group protested from 8am until 11am despite the cold temperatures.

Fiona added that some workers have not received a pay rise for five years.

Rehana Azam, GMB national officer for the NHS, said: “We regret having to inconvenience NHS users again, but the intransigence of the government and employers leaves us no choice.

“This dispute arose when the government overruled the independent NHS Pay Review Body which had recommended an across-the-board pay rise.

“Health workers have already endured several years of pay freezes and caps. They are understandably angry and frustrated at the cavalier way they have been treated.”

Unions taking action were GMB, Unison, Unite, UCATT, Society of Radiographers, Royal College of Midwives, POA, Managers in Partnership, British Association of Occupational Therapists, British Dietetic Association, and Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association.