All eyes on the PM to give health staff a decent pay rise

No more delay tactics over deserved wage rise

UNISON health members stand outside Parliament holding up signs that say 'All eyes on you Boris' and 'No place to hide on NHS pay'.

Thousands of health workers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be looking to the Prime Minister to announce his decision on the long-awaited NHS pay rise in the coming days, says UNISON today (Wednesday).

Ministers have repeatedly said they will await the recommendations of the NHS pay review body (on which they have attempted to set a 1% limit) before making an announcement on the wage rise health workers have been due since the start of April.

But with the NHS pay review body delivering its report any day now, the Prime Minister will soon have nowhere to hide on NHS pay, says UNISON.

Last month health workers across Scotland accepted a pay rise from the government in Edinburgh that’s worth at least 4% for most staff.

But their colleagues elsewhere in the UK won’t get a penny until Boris Johnson decides what to do after he receives the NHS pay review body’s advice, says UNISON.

Earlier today, health workers called on the Prime Minister to stop hiding when it comes to NHS pay and give them a proper rise. Their call comes as NHS staff remain in the dark about how their courageous efforts during the pandemic are to be rewarded.

It’s now 300 days since UNISON wrote to Boris Johnson asking for a £2,000 increase for every NHS worker. But, nearly ten months on, health workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are still waiting.

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “All eyes are now on the Prime Minister. He either has – or will have within days – the evidence gathered by the NHS pay review body. Boris Johnson is now the only person standing between health workers and a wage rise.

“Scottish NHS employees have been recognised by the government there, which has shown it values everything staff have done this past year. Now, it’s the turn of the Westminster government to demonstrate its support for the NHS. The ball is well and truly in the Prime Minister’s court.

“All along Boris Johnson has had it within his gift to reward NHS staff, but he’s chosen not to, preferring to use the pay review body process as an excuse for delay.

“Further time-wasting runs the risk that more health workers will leave. With the huge backlog of treatments and operations looming over the NHS, that would be disastrous for everyone.”

Notes to editors
– Health workers were due a pay rise in April but are still waiting. Their previous three-year deal expired on 31 March. The government proposed a 1% pay increase to the NHS pay review body, which is due to give its recommendation to the Prime Minister before the end of this month, which means NHS staff are not likely to get a pay rise until July at best. The government failed to commit to an early rise last summer when UNISON wrote to him asking for £2k increases for all staff.
– UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea and head of health Sara Gorton joined health workers outside Parliament earlier today (Wednesday) holding signs to emphasise that all eyes are on the Prime Minister to make a decision to pay a proper wage increase. Pics are available on request.
– UNISON says any pay rise must be for all staff working within the NHS, including those working for private contractors.
– UNISON has created a pay monitor giving a daily update on how much NHS workers are losing as time ticks by without a pay rise.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in the NHS, education, local government, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.

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