It’s in all our interests that the chancellor invests in the NHS

The government needs to hit pause and think again on pay

Chancellor Rishi Sunak with the red Budget box


Reacting to the chancellor’s response to questions about NHS pay in Parliament earlier today (Tuesday), UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:

“Everyone will need the NHS at some point in their lives. When they do, they’ll want the health service to have all the staff and resources to deliver the care required.

“That’s why the government must invest in the NHS workforce now. That means a decent pay rise, not a shabby 1%.

“All health workers have gone to incredible lengths this past year. The public can see and appreciate that, as can many Conservative backbench MPs.

“The chancellor’s short-sighted approach is totally out of step. Thursday’s slow hand clap protest will demonstrate that.

“The government needs to hit pause and think again on pay. Otherwise, demoralised health workers will go elsewhere, leaving the NHS in an even more perilous state. And no-one wants that.”

On Thursday evening at 8pm, health unions are urging the public to show support for NHS staff with a slow hand clap demonstrating their displeasure at government proposals for a 1% pay rise.

Notes to editors:  
– UNISON’s is calling on the government to give all NHS workers a pay rise of at least £2,000.
– Health workers are currently in the final year of a three-year deal. They’re due a pay rise in April but unions have been campaigning for the government to show its appreciation for NHS employees by bringing that forward. The government failed to commit to this last summer when wage increases for 900,000 workers elsewhere in the public sector were announced. A rise has now been promised by the chancellor but not until after the formal NHS pay review body reports back in May. This is likely to mean that NHS staff will not get a pay rise until July at the earliest, say the unions. Health secretary Matt Hancock has also said the increase must be determined by ‘affordability’ and Rishi Sunak has warned of restraint in future public sector pay awards.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

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