Radiographers to strike for 48 hours later this month over pay
Written by First Choice Radio on 7 July 2023
Radiographers are to strike for 48 hours later this month over pay.
The Society of Radiographers (SoR) trade union announced its members at 43 NHS trusts voted to walk out between 8am on July 25 and 8am on July 27.
Bank holiday levels of “life and limb” emergency cover will be provided for patients while the industrial action takes place, it added.
The announcement comes after union members voted to reject the Government’s pay offer of 5% plus a non-consolidated lump sum for 2022-23 in an indicative ballot.
Affected trusts include University College London Hospitals, the Royal Marsden, Liverpool University Hospitals, Nottingham University Hospitals and University Hospitals Bristol.
A majority of members were in favour of striking at more than 150 trusts but the required turnout threshold was not reached in many instances.
The union informed affected trusts of the strike by letter on Thursday.
It urged the Government to discuss “urgent improvements” to radiographers’ pay and conditions to avert the walkout.
Dean Rogers, the union’s executive director of industrial strategy and member relations, said: “Voting for strike action is never easy. Going out on strike will be even more difficult for our members, who care above all about the safety and wellbeing of their patients.
“The Society of Radiographers had been seeking meaningful discussions with the Government without success, since starting its industrial action ballot across England.
“Following a strong vote for strike action in the ballot, the Society of Radiographers was invited to a meeting with Will Quince, the minister for health, on July 4. This was followed by another meeting on July 6.
“In both meetings, the SoR explained that our members were working long hours for low pay, and that this was forcing radiographers to leave the profession, resulting in chronic understaffing and long waiting lists.
“We asked for: more pay now and a review of the 5% pay offer; funding to support recruitment and retention; support for long-term pay restoration; and clear support for better working conditions.
“The Government acknowledged our concerns but made no concrete proposals.
“They have now indicated they will not talk to the SoR any further while industrial action is proposed – something we find regrettable for staff, patients and future industrial relations.
“Strike action is a last resort. But our members believe they have no alternative, because the Government won’t take the action needed to address their concerns.”
The union said radiographers – who carry out scans including x-rays and MRIs as well as radiotherapy for people with cancer – help nine out of 10 NHS patients but “too few” of them are currently being recruited and retained.
This means one million patients are waiting to be seen by a radiographer, it added.
The union said the Government’s long-awaited workforce plan, unveiled last week, is a “plan for the future” which will not plug immediate staff shortages.
Mr Rogers added: “If the Government wants to reduce NHS waiting lists and ensure that patients receive the treatment they need, when they need it, then it must urgently prioritise the recruitment and retention of radiography professionals.
“Our members deserve better. Our patients deserve better.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub