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Public support NHS staff over pay

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Written by: Emma Lunn
12/03/2021
Thousands of people joined the slow hand clap against the government’s below-inflation pay rise for NHS staff on Thursday evening.

Unison, alongside other health unions and the Trades Union Congress, organised the event so the public could show the chancellor and prime minister they back a fair deal for NHS staff.

The union thanked those who took to their doorsteps and balconies to slow handclap the government over its proposed 1% rise for NHS staff, as set out in its evidence to the NHS pay review body. The 1% pay rise is a cut in real terms, with inflation set to rise 1.7% this year.

Further campaign activity will continue with the next focus on Thursday 1 April, the day staff should have been getting their next wage increase.

Unison says many porters, midwives, cleaners, healthcare assistants, nurses, domestics and other NHS workers will end up leaving the health service unless there’s an urgent rethink by the government.

Sara Gorton, Unison head of health, said: “The public took time to show the government exactly what they think of its plans for a stingy 1% pay rise for health workers.

“NHS staff across the UK have gone to amazing lengths this past year – saving lives, supporting families and nursing patients back to health. They deserve not just our thanks, but to be properly recognised for their efforts, and rewarded too.

“Health workers have given 100%. But the prime minister and chancellor think NHS staff are worth a measly 1%. The public doesn’t agree. People can see NHS staff have been pushed to the limit. They know health workers shouldn’t have to wait a moment longer for a decent pay rise. It’s a sound investment in the future of the NHS and would also be good for struggling local economies. It’s time the government realised this too.”

Three quarters (76%) of workers affected by the government’s NHS pay cut are women, according to Labour.

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