Radiographers have taken to the picket lines for 48 hours across 37 NHS trusts in England because there not enough people on the job.
The Society of Radiographers (SoR) said that many are “leaving due to burnout” and they have taken strike action because they are “overworked and undervalued.”
Union bosses said member of the SoR rejected the government’s 5% pay rise because other public sector workers have been offered higher pay awards.
Leandre Archer, head of industrial relations at the SoR, told Sky News: “No radiographers want to be on the picket lines – they want to be in work delivering care for their patients. But, unfortunately, they’re overworked and undervalued and they’re making a stand because they need better pay and conditions.”
She said they voted to reject the 5% pay award for radiographers because “they didn’t feel it was enough to deal with the spiralling cost-of-living crisis or, indeed, their recruitment and retention issues within the workforce.”
Archer added, “Other public servants have now been awarded more than the 5% and what we’re asking the Government is to negotiate with us.”
Archer warned the strikes “will have massive disruption unfortunately, it’s not where we want to be.
“Unfortunately, 13% of the workforce is missing, there’s a massive gap in the workforce and radiographers are taking a stand today to get the Government to do something about the massive workforce issues that they’re facing.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said that the pay award is “final.”
Barclay said, “I want to see an end to disruptive strikes so the NHS can focus relentlessly on cutting waiting lists and delivering for patients.
“The majority of unions on the NHS Staff Council voted to accept the Government’s fair and reasonable offer of a 5% pay rise for 2023-24, alongside two significant one-off payments totalling at least £1,655, putting more money in their pockets now.
“This pay award is final and so I urge the Society of Radiographers to call off strikes.”