The Government is facing a backlash from health professionals. The next days may see the development of a coordinated response to the Tory 3% pay insult as unions consult with their members to gauge the mood of members. This may lead to coordinated industrial action between unions. To force this Government to backdown.
Hundreds of frontline NHS and social care workers died during the pandemic. Many others have seen a decline in mental health and well-being. Some are living with long-covid, others treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. They face a chronic shortage of suitable high specification protective equipment. They work excessive hours in the toughest of working conditions to carry us through the pandemic and console the relatives who were left behind.
The pay insult will do nothing to improve recruitment or retention of health workers.
It’s time that the Government see real anger that is not represented by Starmer and the Labour Party. It’s hoped this coordinated action over pay is linked to the Tory NHS Bill that will privatise the workforce and push down terms and conditions further.
Fight for pay- Kill the Tory NHS Bill.
Despite a widespread expectation that the long-awaited pay announcement would happen today, ministers have cruelly dashed the hopes of thousands of exhausted and dedicated health workers, the union added.
UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “The government has behaved disgracefully towards NHS staff.
“Health workers are on the cusp of another wave of the deadly virus and have already been through so much. They’ve been treated shabbily.
“Just as NHS staff thought ministers were at last to announce the pay rise they’ve more than earned, hopes have been cruelly dashed.”
Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “The Pay Review Body’s recommendation of three per cent is grossly inadequate and underwhelming, and in no way recognises the 19 per cent drop in real earnings that many NHS workers have endured in the last decade, nor the Herculean sacrifices that health staff have and are continuing to make as Covid infection rates rapidly rise again.
“Members have been telling us that three per cent would be insulting and show that they are not valued – it doesn’t even match the four per cent the Scottish Government offered to NHS workers backdated to December 2020.
“Three per cent will also do very little to staunch the escalating ‘recruitment and retention’ crisis and free up resources to tackle the enormous backlog in non-Covid procedures, such as hip replacements. It is estimated there are 100,000 vacancies in the health service and very little in the way of a plan to recruit the numbers needed.
“The lack of respect that the Johnson government has shown to NHS workers is breath-taking as staff now face an increase that is still lagging behind the RPI rate of inflation, currently at 3.9 per cent.”
Rachel Harrison, a national officer with the GMB, said: “NHS workers know their worth and so do the public – shame on the government who don’t.”
The pay offer has been sneaked out to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny as MPs are packing up for summer and fails to match the 15% pay increase – or £2 per hour – GMB has been calling for to make up for a decade of real terms pay cuts for NHS key workers deserve.
The 3 per cent offer is lower than inflation, which was 3.9 per cent in June (according to the RPI index).
GMB is also calling into question the independence and validity of a pay review body that has failed to seriously consider the union’s evidence as to why a significant increase is essential this year to reward and recognise staff and to also address the huge staffing crisis in the NHS and the potential retention crisis.”
The UK Government has received its recommendation from the NHS Pay Review Body and made a 3% pay award to members in England. The RCN has been clear that this award is both inadequate and irresponsible, compromising the profession and its patients in several ways. The next step in the process is critical. The RCN will be asking every member in England if they think this pay award is acceptable.
The British Medical Association (BMA), which represents doctors, said the pay rise was disappointing and that junior doctors and some GPs could miss out on it altogether.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, of the BMA, said many doctors had not taken annual leave in the past year and now “face a gruelling year ahead with millions of patients on waiting lists, and the country in the midst of another Covid-19 wave.”
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