Blog: Let’s stick together to win the proper pay for the job

‘Wirral NHS clinical support workers just want to be paid the proper rate for the work they do and the responsibilities they take’

Christina McAnea on the picket line with striking clinical support workers at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Across every UNISON region, we’ve got live campaigns to get health workers the fair pay they deserve.

Dedicated staff have been regularly performing important duties above the level of responsibility their employers pay them for.

This expectation has been put on them for years, but the salary they should be earning has been held back for years too.

Today in Liverpool, clinical support workers went on strike at Arrowe Park Hospital.

Their lively and packed picket line attracted constant beeps from the public driving by.

And a banner was emblazoned with the simple and clear message that Janelle Holmes, Wirral Hospitals CEO, must respond to “Stop underpaying us”.

I was so pleased to join our striking members this morning, to give them a message of solidarity and hope on behalf of our whole union.

The members I spoke to were frustrated at their employers’ constant refusal to properly value the work that clinical support workers do.

And rightly so. Because when a workforce is undervalued and underpaid, they suffer, their families suffer, and patients suffer too.

So it’s because of their compassion and commitment to patient care that they’re taking this action.

As soon as I arrived at the picket line, I could tell they have the resolve to see this campaign through.

With UNISON’s backing, and the support and solidarity from the public, I know they can win the fair pay they’re owed.

Right now, at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, it’s up to the employers to end the strikes by delivering a deal that our members can accept.

But it’s also up to all of us, in UNISON, to stick together, to grow our campaigns across the whole of the UK, and to grow our union.

Because each of our wins in our Pay Fair for Patient Care campaign, helps put pressure on bosses in hospitals in every region, to do the right thing by their amazing staff.