NHS Strike

Thousands of NHS staff across England plan to walk out for four hours on 24 November in a row over pay.

The move is the latest development in the disagreement between trade unions that represent NHS workers and the government after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt refused to award all staff a 1% pay rise, as recommended by the independent NHS Pay Review Body.

Unite, along with 10 other health unions and professional organisations, will strike from 7am to 11am. In addition, the trade union explained an eight week work-to-rule will also start on 24 November and run to 19 January 2015.

"It is crystal clear that Hunt and his government have pulled down the shutters on talks to improve the ever-eroding incomes of the 1.35 million-strong NHS workforce," said Rachael Maskell, head of health at Unite.

"It is a snub to the dedicated and hard-working health professionals that sustain the NHS day in, day out, 365 days a year, as demand for services soar."

Unite also said its members in Northern Ireland, which has a devolved health service, will continue to work to rule while the union organises further stoppages.

In Wales, talks are continuing between the health unions and the devolved government, and no industrial action is planned for 24 November.

In Scotland, the devolved government has agreed to pay the 1% pay rise to all staff as recommended and to implement the "living wage" by paying an extra £300 to low paid workers.

"We are disappointed by this decision – NHS staff are our greatest asset and we want to make the current pay system fairer, which is why we have put forward proposals that would ensure all staff would get at least a 1% pay rise this year and next, but these have been rejected by the unions," a Department of Health spokesperson said.

"We have been clear that we can't afford a consolidated pay rise in addition to increments without risking frontline jobs."