Public shows support for NHS staff over pay, says UNISON

Thousands join slow hand clap against government’s proposed 1% rise for NHS staff

Thousands of households have demonstrated their support for health workers this evening (Thursday) by taking part in a nationwide slow handclap protest against the government’s stance on NHS pay, says UNISON.

UNISON, alongside other health unions and the TUC, organised the event so the public could show the chancellor and prime minister they back a fair deal for NHS staff.

The union thanked those who took to their doorsteps and balconies to slow handclap the government over its proposed 1% rise for NHS staff, as set out in its evidence to the NHS pay review body.

Further campaign activity will continue with the next focus on Thursday 1 April, the day staff should have been getting their next wage increase.

UNISON says many porters, midwives, cleaners, healthcare assistants, nurses, domestics and other NHS workers will end up leaving the health service unless there’s an urgent rethink by the government.

UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: “The public took time to show the government exactly what they think of its plans for a stingy 1% pay rise for health workers.

“NHS staff across the UK have gone to amazing lengths this past year – saving lives, supporting families and nursing patients back to health. They deserve not just our thanks, but to be properly recognised for their efforts, and rewarded too.

“Health workers have given 100%. But the prime minister and chancellor think NHS staff are worth a measly 1%.

“The public doesn’t agree. People can see NHS staff have been pushed to the limit. They know health workers shouldn’t have to wait a moment longer for a decent pay rise.

“It’s a sound investment in the future of the NHS and would also be good for struggling local economies. It’s time the government realised this too.”

Notes to editors:
-At 8pm this evening the public showed its support for NHS staff with a slow hand clap. You can see examples of this support on Twitter #WithNHSstaff. UNISON 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 should have been getting a pay rise in April.
-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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