Commenting on remarks made by the Prime Minister earlier today (Sunday) to justify the government’s position on NHS pay, UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said:
“The Prime Minister of all people should appreciate the skill and dedication of NHS staff. He should admit swiftly his government has got this very wrong and think again.
“NHS staff are demoralised and exhausted from the pandemic. They mustn’t pay the price for the failure to resource the health service properly over the past decade.
“All health workers deserve a decent pay rise to recognise their work and stop them leaving the NHS. This would create even greater staff shortages. No-one wants that.
“The huge outcry shows the public understands the UK simply can’t afford not to invest in the workforce right away if the NHS is to recover.
“Everyone should take to their doorsteps and balconies on Thursday for a slow hand clap to show ministers exactly what the country thinks of their shabby treatment of NHS staff.”
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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