Health visitors employed by Lincolnshire county council are striking for 48 hours from today (July 15) over not getting paid the rate for the job and the erosion of their professional responsibilities which could adversely impact vulnerable families.
Unite said that the 58 health visitors went ahead with their strike (pictured) after talks with the council, under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas, failed to resolve the dispute.
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.
“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,” he added.
“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.”
There was a demonstration of striking health visitors that were not on the outreach picket lines from 8.30am today near the Lincolnshire County Council’s Gates.
Unite calculates that its Lincolnshire health visitor members have lost more than £2,000 a year since they were transferred from the NHS to the county council in October 2017.
Unite, which embraces the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA), is also seriously concerned about the downgrading of the health visitors’ professional status, resulting in fewer staff doing the specialist health visitor role.
Further stoppages are planned with 24 hour strikes on July 19 and 22, which will be followed by a 48 hour strike on July 25. All the strikes will start at a minute past midnight. The health visitors had voted by an 84 per cent majority to strike.