RADIOGRAPHERS will go on strike for the first time in more than 30 years in a bitter row with the Government over health workers’ pay.
Members of the Society of Radiographers across the UK will walk out for four hours on Monday, October 20, in protest at the Government’s controversial decision not to pay a recommended one per cent wage rise to all NHS employees.
Radiographers will also work to rule for the rest of that week. Emergency care will continue to be provided, but booked appointments could be hit.
The NHS is facing a wave of action fuelled by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s rejection of the recommendation staff should be given the rise. Other health workers including nurses, ambulance drivers and paramedics are taking strike action next Monday.
Further action is due to be taken on Tuesday by council workers and civil servants over pay, jobs and cuts, while London Underground workers are also due to walk out in a dispute over ticket office closures.
Richard Evans, the society’s chief executive officer, said: “There is the possibility of more action by radiographers in the future. The anger that they and other health professionals feel is very strong.
“Radiographers will try and keep the effect on patients to a minimum but radiographers and other healthcare workers have got to the stage that they feel there is no alternative.
“Because of inflation, staff in the NHS have been taking a year-on-year pay cut. Unless we show the Government that we are serious about our claim that NHS staff should be treated fairly, they will continue to take advantage of our goodwill.
“There is a shortage of radiographers, which already has an effect on the timely delivery of diagnostic examinations and the treatment of cancer, which has direct negative consequences on patients.
“Without reasonable and proper recognition of the work that they do, it is increasingly likely that qualified professionals will leave radiography and it will become even more difficult to recruit the additional people which are needed.”