Your right to better pay

31 August 2021

A day of action took place in England and Wales to encourage members to vote in the ballots over pay, as Unite’s Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe and Richard Munn report.

The Unite NHS pay day of action on Wednesday 25 August saw members across England and Wales come out to show their feelings towards the UK and Welsh Government’s 3% pay for NHS workers.

The aim was to urge members in their consultative and indicative industrial action ballots to say No to 3% and Yes to action.  

In England the ballot opened on 27 August and closes on 24 September. In Wales, the ballot opened on 17 August and closes on 23 September

The Government’s award was too little and too late. Unite alongside sister trade unions had been asking for an early and significant pay rise for over a year and Unite had made a claim for £3000 or 15%, whatever is greater, for all health workers. 

We hope this activity continues in the coming weeks, so we can spread this message far and wide so that Unite members on mass can loudly and clearly tell the Government what they think of the award. 

More Unite NHS Pay days of action are planned on 15th and 16th September.

Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe
Unite national officer for health


Email [email protected] 

Tweet @only1colenzojt 

On Wednesday 25 August, hundreds of Unite reps and members were out and about encouraging their colleagues to vote in our Welsh ballot over pay.  This is part of an ongoing strategy to get as large a turn out as possible.
The ballot opened in Wales on 17 August and closes on 23 September.  As the pay award is being imposed following the Pay Review Body’s recommendation, the unions will not be agreeing or accepting the pay rise.  

We are therefore asking our members if they accept or reject the pay award ‘in principle’.  We are also gauging opinion on whether members are prepared to take industrial action.  

Unite’s committee of elected NHS reps from Wales who decide on Unite’s strategy and policy in Wales devolved NHS are recommending that members vote to reject.  They feel strongly that 3% is just not good enough.
To raise awareness Unite mainly focused on a social media approach and asked members to have pictures taken holding posters stating that they have voted. The Betsi Cadwaldr Branch officials were especially busy and organised a demo and information stalls across the health board.  

The key aim in Wales was to raise awareness of the ballot and to ensure that we get the highest turn out possible.  Our hope is that if Unite along with the other trade unions have strong mandates to reject the offer, the Welsh Government will have to enter negotiations. 
If anyone would like to invite a Unite official to a meeting to discuss pay or has any ideas on how to best promote the ballot amongst their colleagues, please feel free to get in touch.

Richard Munn
Lead regional officer (health) for Wales

 [email protected]