Lincolnshire health visitors stage 48-hour strike action

It is believed to be the first time that the county’s health visitors will have taken strike action.

Matt Bodell
15 July 2019
Lincoln Health Visitors Strike

The 48-hour walk out is the first of several planned strikes.

Fifty-eight health visitors employed by Lincolnshire County Council walked out today in an going dispute over pay and conditions.

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Unite the Union claims its members have lost more than £2,000 a year compared with NHS staff after their contracts were switched from the NHS to the council in 2017.

Last year NHS staff voted ‘overhwelmingly’ to accept a three year pay deal.

The 48-hour walk out is the first of several planned strikes arranged by the union over the next two weeks. It is believed to be the first time that the county’s health visitors will have taken strike action.

Unable to reach a settlement.

Unite regional officer Steve Syson said: “We held Acas talks with the council on Friday and, unfortunately, we were unable to reach a settlement, and therefore, the 48 hour strike today is going ahead.

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“We believe it to be the first time that the county’s health visitors will have taken strike action in defence of their pay and professional standards.

“It is a sad indictment of the council bosses that they have allowed the situation to reach this stage  However, we are faced with a local authority more concerned with giving its former chief executive Keith Ireland a scandalous £292,000 pay off for a mere six months work than paying its own health visitors the rate for the job.

“That said, Unite’s door remains open for constructive talks at any time to settle this dispute for the benefit of our members and, ultimately, for the welfare of the families of Lincolnshire.”

Staff already have a ‘competitive pay structure’.

Heather Sandy, Interim director of Education at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The county council has always valued the professionalism and work of our health visitors and the support they provide to Lincolnshire families,”

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“We were keen to avoid strike action which has been threatened by the Unite union which represents approximately one third of our health visiting workforce.”

The council added it remained “open to ongoing discussions” and reitterated that plans were in place “to cover absences”.

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