More health unions join backlash against 1% pay rise

More health unions join backlash against 1% pay rise

More health unions join backlash against 1% pay rise

The government is coming under increasing pressure to reconsider the planned 1% pay rise for NHS workers in England.

More unions, including the British Medical Association, have joined the backlash, saying their staff “have literally kept the country alive for the past year”.

In an open letter to the chancellor they called for a “fair pay deal”.

But Health Secretary Matt Hancock earlier defended the pay increase, saying it is what is “affordable”.

According to a report by the BBC, Unite, the third largest union in the NHS, is now considering strike action.

The BMA, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Nursing and Unison have written a joint letter to express their “dismay”.

It reads:

“The proposal of a 1% pay offer, not announced from the despatch box but smuggled out quietly in the days afterwards, fails the test of both honesty and fails to provide staff who have been on the very frontline of the pandemic the fair pay deal they need.

“Our members are the doctors, nurses, midwives, porters, healthcare assistants and more, already exhausted and distressed, who are also expected to go on caring for the millions of patients on waiting lists, coping with a huge backlog of treatment as well as caring for those with Covid-19.”

Melanie Kerr, a staff nurse and chair of the North Lincolnshire regional branch of the Royal College of Nursing, called the pay offer “infuriating”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive at NHS Providers, added:

“Given where the NHS is at, given what frontline staff have been through, it seems absolutely wrong to take from their pockets right now the pay rise that was due to them.”

A final decision is scheduled to be made in May.

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