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Unions urge public to support NHS pay rise

Unions are urging the public to put colourful posters in their windows on Thursday 1st April in support of a proper pay rise for NHS staff.

Unions say this will show the public strength of feeling on the day NHS staff should have received a wage increase and be a welcome ‘thank you’ for all their tireless efforts over the past year to keep everyone safe.

Fourteen healthcare unions including UNISON, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives have written to Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister asking to meet and discuss pay.

The letter was sent following confirmation by the Scottish government that NHS staff in Scotland are to be offered a pay rise of at least 4%.

Three weeks ago, the Department of Health ​and Social Care signalled its intention to award a 1​% pay rise later this year to NHS staff in England following the outcome of the ​NHS ​pay ​review ​body, blaming the current state of public finances.

The fourteen unions representing 1.3 million NHS workers ​say that NHS staff in England are ‘bewildered’ by how the Government is treating them.  In their letter they express concern over delays to their pay rise as well as the lower figure of 1% compared to Scotland’s offer of 4%.

In their letter, the unions say:

Last July, we wrote to the Chancellor asking to begin early discussions between NHS unions and government on a well-deserved and significant pay award but these were not forthcoming. We entered the Pay Review Body (PRB) process in good faith and submitted our evidence at the start of this year. Yet the government has deliberately delayed its decision to June or July.

When the UK government’s submission to the PRB came to light three weeks ago, you will recall the response from NHS staff and the public. The majority of people – irrespective of their political affiliation – believe the 1% NHS pay proposal to be unfair.

As representatives of 1.3 million NHS staff, we urge you to reconsider your proposals urgently. At your recent Budget, and in the days since, you have demonstrated the government’s priorities for public expenditure lie elsewhere. In the middle of pandemic, this has sent an extremely damaging message to NHS staff at the worst possible time.

The 14 NHS unions are: British Association of Occupational Therapists, British Dietetic Association, British and Irish Orthoptic Society, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, College of Podiatry, Federation of Clinical Scientists, GMB, Managers in Partnership, Prison Officers Association, Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Nursing, Society of Radiographers, UNISON and Unite.

Photo by Red Dot on Unsplash