for a 3.9% pay rise to match inflation and an additional £800 lump sum payment for every NHS employee to partly make up for pay lost in the past 6 years of pay freeze and pay cap, writes Marc Renwick
The claim also calls for the pay award to be fully funded and not taken from existing budgets that are already facing pressure from cuts and privatisation.
Since 2010 this combination of pay freeze and an 1% pay cap for NHS staff has seen a pay cut in real terms of around 14-15%. This pay cut has had an obvious economic impact for health workers and their families struggling to make ends meet but it has had a huge effect on staff morale and on staff recruitment.
Currently there is an estimated staff shortage of around 86,000 unfilled posts in the NHS. 20% more nurses and midwives left the register than joined it in 2016-17. This is alongside a 96% drop in EU nurses registering to work in the UK since the Brexit vote.
A properly funded pay increase can only help to secure the future of the NHS, making it an attractive place to work by recruiting and retaining staff which will help alleviate staff shortages, reduce workload pressures and make care for patients safer and more effective.
The government strategy of pay cap obviously doesn’t just affect NHS staff. At TUC conference Labour and trade union leaders called for an end to this austerity driven policy of ‘real term’ public sector pay cuts. There is a real opportunity to campaign for and win strike action across the public sector that can force May’s government to Pay Up Now.
Instead of another winter crisis for the NHS – let’s see a winter of discontent for the Tories!
Left Unity is active in movements and campaigns across the left, working to create an alternative to the main political parties.
Events and protests from around the movement, and local Left Unity meetings.
Tuesday 24 October
The Gig Economy: Now and in the age of the ROBOT
Public meeting with South London Left Unity: 6pm in the Meeting Room, The Artworks, Elephant Road,
London SE17 1AY. Tickets and details here
Friday 10th to Saturday 11th November
Marseille Forum, France
A European-wide gathering of progressive forces in Marseille – trade unions, campaigns, parties, social movements – discussing the crisis we face and how to build a different Europe. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up to the Left Unity email newsletter.
Get the latest Left Unity resources.