Care Quality Commission workers striking in long-running pay dispute

Staff at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will strike on Tuesday in a long-running dispute over pay.

Members of Unison, Unite and the Public and Commercial Services union will walk out, including those working in inspection teams, call centres and data analysis.

The unions said the strike will affect call centres which deal with reports from the public about serious concerns about health services.

Last month, CQC staff started a continuous work to rule that is due to continue until September, so they are only working the hours for which they are paid, are refusing overtime as well as taking all their breaks in full.

Employees voted to strike after they received a pay increase of between 2.75% and 3.5%, and a one-off payment of £100 or £150 in December, depending on their salary.

Unison national officer Matthew Egan said: “Without CQC staff, all sorts of abuses, malpractice and neglect would go unnoticed in health and care services.

“The strike will have an inevitable impact on the commission’s work with delays and cancellations to inspections, worsening the huge backlog. Without government intervention, the dispute could escalate and drag on for months.

“Wage levels at the commission simply don’t reflect its essential work, which makes a real difference to the care and treatment of very many people. Improving pay would help stem the exodus of experienced staff.

“The CQC has to think again about this substandard pay award and must be allowed to negotiate with unions directly to avoid further disruption.”

CQC staff regulate registered health and social care services across England including hospitals, care homes, GP practices and dental surgeries to ensure care is delivered safely.

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