NHS workers could join with industrial action, say unions

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MORE strikes could be on the way — and NHS staff might be the latest public sector workers to walk out, unions have warned.

On Thursday, hundreds of workers including teachers, council workers, binmen and firefighters walked out in a row over pay.

Members of the GMB, PCS, Unison, RMT and Unite unions and the Fire Brigades Union took part in the action.

Now Jon Woods, of Portsmouth Trades Council, says another two-day strike could be on the cards for September.

He said: ‘I think we are looking at strike action in September and possibly action with NHS staff.

‘There will be a two day strike and there will be more people out.

‘It was a very successful strike contrary to what the government is saying.

‘In Portsmouth our impression was that a lot of people came out on strike.

‘A number of people we spoke to on the picket line said they will come out again.’

Public sector workers are protesting against a one per cent pay rise which falls below the rate of inflation.

‘People know that they can’t have a decade of below inflation pay cuts because that’s what we are looking at,’ Mr Woods added.

‘People are reluctant to strike but they know they haven’t got any alternative. People know that they can’t afford not to strike.’

Teaching staff were also protesting against pension cuts and workload.

Amanda Martin, secretary for the National Union of Teachers in Portsmouth, said: ‘It all depends on Michael Gove as far as the National Union of Teachers is concerned.

‘We will be re-balloting, and unless things change then there’ll be more strike action in the autumn. Unless he starts talking to us we can’t do anything more. He is the Secretary of State for Education.

‘Surely teachers and their students are the most important part of education in this country.

‘So potentially, yes, there will be more strikes.’

A number of schools across the area were either shut or partially shut.

Members of the other teaching union, the NASUWT, did not take part in the strike action.

The NUT walkout followed a national strike on March 26 and regional strikes by the NUT and another teachers’ union, the NASUWT, in 2013.