Nurses and midwives set to walk out as unions claim pay dispute is growing

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Health workers including nurses and midwives will stage a fresh strike next month in a bitter row over pay.

Members of 11 unions will walk out for four hours in England on November 24 in protest at the coalition’s Government’s controversial decision to reject a recommended one per cent pay rise for all NHS staff.

The strike from 7-11am will be followed by other forms of industrial action.

Christina McAnea, of Unison, said: “The next set of industrial action will be even stronger as more unions are joining in.

“The NHS depends on the goodwill and commitment of the workforce and this is now at breaking point.

“The Government has made no attempt to resolve this dispute and staff have been left with no alternative but to take more industrial action. All we are asking for is fair pay.”

Cathy Warwick, of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “Our action in October was very effective in showing the level of discontent amongst midwives and that the goodwill that midwives gives to the NHS every day is worth far more than the one per cent pay increase.”

A Department of Health spokesman said it was disappointed by the decision.

“We have been clear that we can’t afford a consolidated pay rise in addition to increments without risking frontline jobs,” he added.

* Fire crews will stage a four-day strike from 6pm tonight in a bitter row over pensions. The walk-out comes on one of the busiest weekends of the year due to bonfire displays.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, which attended 300 calls over the same period last year, is warning the service and the public will be left in a “vulnerable position”, telling people to take extra care.