U.K. radiographers say they are ready to strike

2014 10 03 13 11 30 321 Demonstration 200

In a widely expected rejection of a continuing pay freeze, U.K. radiographers working in medical imaging and radiation therapy voted today to join other healthcare unions in the country by taking industrial action that could include a strike, the Society of Radiographers (SoR) reported.

In all, 53% of members said they were prepared to strike, and 78.9% said they would take industrial action short of a strike, the society said. About 41% of SoR members who were eligible to vote participated in the ballot.

The SoR vote was sparked by a continuing pay freeze in the National Health Service (NHS), the fourth in five years. Other trade unions have also recently voted to take action -- most recently the Royal College of Midwives, who joined Unite, Unison, GMB, and HCSA in deciding to participate in industrial action, SoR said.

"It is very unusual for radiographers to vote for industrial action, and this vote shows the anger they feel," said Richard Evans, the society's CEO, in a statement. Working people in the NHS have lived with continuously falling standards of living for too long, given the eroding effects of inflation and the government's continuing rejection of small pay increases, he continued.

The government recently rejected a recommended 1% pay rise for the current year.

Year on year, the effect of the pay freeze is a pay cut, and there are no increases planned for next year either, Evans said. The U.K. council of the SoR will meet on 8 October to discuss the vote and to decide on what course of action to take.

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