UNISON is calling on Jeremy Hunt to change tactics and lift the 1% pay cap in the NHS, which it says is causing major problems in the service.
The union says that such action is needed now in order to stop the increasing numbers of staff who are leaving.
The loss of experienced staff is just one problem facing the NHS at a time of unprecedented pressure.
Health Education England figures show that the number of staff leaving the NHS reached 16% last year – a marked increase since 2011.
UNISON head of health Christina McAnea has written to the Mr Hunt urging him to lift the 1% pay cap.
This would allow the independent NHS Pay Review Body the freedom to award a decent pay rise, giving a boost to the dedicated experienced staff that the service needs to keep, while also helping attract the new staff the NHS desperately needs to recruit.
“Perpetuating pay restraint may seem like a short-term saving, but it is costing the NHS dearly,” warned Ms McAnea.
To find out more – including information about contacting your MP on the issue – visit our campaign pages for Time to talk about NHS pay.