UNISON is breaking with tradition and submitting a pay claim directly to the government on behalf of more than one million health workers across the UK.
Working with the other NHS trade unions, UNISON has written to the Chancellor Philip Hammond, urging him to earmark funds in the November Budget for a pay rise in line with inflation.
The claim also calls for an additional £800 payment per individual, to restore some of the pay lost over the past seven years.
UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “Health workers have gone without a proper pay rise for far too long. Their wages continue to fall behind inflation as food and fuel bills, housing and transport costs rise.
“NHS staff and their families need a pay award that stops the rot and starts to restore some of the earnings that have been missed out on.
“A decent pay rise will make it easier for struggling hospital trusts to attract new recruits and hold onto experienced staff.”
Ms Gorton added: “Continuing with the pay cap will further damage services – and that affects us all. The government must give the NHS the cash it needs so its entire workforce gets a decent rise, without the need for more services to be cut.”
The NHS pay claim has been submitted in the midst of UNISON’s Pay Up Now! campaign – which is calling for an end to the pay cap across the whole of public services – and continued pressure on MPs to turn the page on austerity.
Ms Gorton warned: “There must be no selective lifting of the cap. All public servants deserve a proper pay rise, no matter where in the country they live or what job they do.”
UNISON members can help to make government listen, by taking part in the pay conversation and joining the Pay Up Now! campaign.
Health members can fill in the annual pay survey now, allowing the union to relay their stories straight to the heart of government: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NHSpay2017.
And all members can sign the Pay Up Now! petition.