Westminster government out on its own on NHS pay, says UNISON

Christina McAnea says Boris Johnson must commit now to funding proper salary increases

Commenting on the announcement today (Wednesday) that the Welsh government is to recognise the efforts made by health and care staff throughout the pandemic, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“Boris Johnson and his government are now out of step with every other part of the UK.

“The devolved administrations have all made one-off gestures showing they appreciate everything NHS and care staff have done this past year.

“It’s a pity ministers in Westminster have still failed to commit to funding the proper salary increases staff across the UK deserve.

“The public wants NHS staff to get a decent pay rise, so do Conservative backbench MPs. There’s no shame in the government accepting it’s made the wrong decision.

“The time’s come for ministers to revise their measly 1% recommendation and show health workers just how much they’re valued. Otherwise, the NHS in England will be left struggling to cope as experienced health workers increasingly decide they’ve had enough.

“Nor must care workers in England be forgotten. There’s no talk of a pay rise for care staff, the majority of whom work for private firms.

“A £3.9bn emergency funding package from the government would allow all care employees to be paid at least the real living wage. This would help the under-pressure sector begin to tackle soaring vacancies.”

Notes to editors:
-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.
-Devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have now all made payments to NHS and care staff recognising their work over the past year.
-The real living wage is currently £9.50, and £10.85 in London.
-Last year, more than 80 organisations – including the National Care Association, Care and Support Alliance, Carers UK, Alzheimer’s Society and UNISON – joined forces to create the Future Social Care Coalition. This is calling for a fair wage deal for low​-paid staff. This would be possible with a £3.9bn* emergency support fund from the government.
-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.

Media contacts:  
Liz Chinchen M: 07778 158175 E: press@unison.co.uk
Anthony Barnes M: 07834 864794 E: a.barnes@unison.co.uk