The Government want to talk pay and it’s thanks GMB union members
6 March 2023

The Government want to talk pay and it’s thanks GMB union members

GMB union Regional organiser, Marie Saunderson, said ‘’It is down to the collective organisation and strength in our membership, that the government have got the message. We are serious, with a large percentage of the union membership in agreement and prepared to fight for fair terms of employment. They tried, but can’t ignore the collective strength of a unionised workforce.’’

There is a significant development in our pay dispute with the Government.

On Wednesday 1st March, we announced a tightening of the derogations for cover on strike days. The following day, we received a letter from the Secretary of State for Health, Steve Barclay, inviting us and other unions to pay talks.

This is a huge shift from the Government, who for months have refused to consider negotiations on your pay. They have now said they are willing to sit down and negotiate.

Here’s what they have conceded to talk about -

  • A payment for 2022/23, with new money to pay for this and not from existing budgets

  • Negotiations on 2023/24 pay

  • Terms and conditions that unions have said are important to our members 

  • Our view on future productivity

  • Negotiations to take place with all unions together, terminating the RCN’s separate talks

Have no doubt - these are major concessions, and it is thanks to you.

If you took industrial action or gave support to colleagues out on strike, you have played your part in changing the Government’s mind on pay talks.

They wanted to hide from this issue and dug their heels in for 93 days. But they couldn’t ignore you.

We have clarified a number of issues that required explanation before we could agree to enter talks. GMB union national representative committee has now recommended that we join with other health service unions in beginning negotiations.

Importantly, we have secured an extra three months to our existing strike mandates, so we retain our ability to take further industrial action in the event the talks do not succeed.

This means planned strike action for week commencing Monday 6th March is suspended.

If you require further information, please contact your local GMB union Representative.

For GMB trade union members in the Welsh Ambulance Service strike action has been suspended so that further negotiations can continue.

This is the start of the next phase of our campaign for GMB union NHS and Ambulance workers and we will keep you updated as the talks progress.

Once again, this would not have happened without your strength and solidarity.

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.