Members of Unite and the Royal College of Midwives have overwhelmingly rejected the government’s 7.99 per cent three year pay deal.

Nearly 95 per cent of 20,000 Unite health service members who voted were against accepting the deal, with three quarters of them wanting a strike ballot.

In the RCM, the vote was 99.7 per cent against accepting the deal – although 98 per cent wanted to accept the first year’s offer of 2.75 per cent. The midwives are also considering a ballot on industrial action.

Unite represents health visitors, hospital pharmacists, healthcare chaplains and other healthcare and support professionals.

Last months the union’s 12,000 ambulance and ancilliary workers also rejected the offer.

Gail Cartmail, assistant general secretary, said: “This overwhelming vote sends a clear message. Our members are angry and frustrated that they are being asked by the government to accept this woefully inadequate three year pay deal.”

No date has been set for a strike ballot, she told HSJ. Unite will be meeting with other unions that have rejected the offer.

“If we can get back round the table and reopen talks, we may not need to go to ballot,” she added. “We are not against a three year deal but against the level of what’s been offered in year’s two and three.”

However, the two largest NHS unions, theRCNand Unison, have both voted to accept the offer.

ADH spokesperson said: "The pay award is a fair deal that provides certainty for NHS workers for the next three years.

“We now look forward to a formal joint response from the NHS unions and we are hopeful it will be a positive one."

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