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Health workers in England vote to oppose government’s 3% pay rise

Health workers in England have voted overwhelmingly to oppose the government’s 3% pay increase. Unison said a consultation among its members showed that four out of five were not happy with the pay rise and want to challenge the government.

Opposition to the pay rise will be discussed at Unison’s virtual health conference today. The union said tens of thousands of “exhausted” staff, including nurses, healthcare assistants, ambulance workers and hospital porters, were fed up of being “taken for granted”.

Need for a proper pay rise for health workers

With other sectors boosting wages to attract workers, Unison warned that many health staff are likely to quit for less stressful, better paid jobs elsewhere. Inflation has already wiped out the wage rise NHS workers received, said Unison.

The union had called for a pay rise of at least £2,000, saying the 3% increase delivers this for NHS staff earning more than £70,000, but those on the lowest wages are receiving under £600.

The union will now launch an indicative ballot to see how many of its health members would be prepared to take the sustained and widespread industrial action it believes is needed to change the government’s decision.

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Unison head of health Sara Gorton said:

The fact that so many health staff say they are willing to stand together to challenge the 3% should make the government think twice.

Health workers “feel so let down”

Many feel so let down they’re telling us they feel like quitting overnight.

Boris Johnson said he would give the NHS what it needed. Instead, rising costs mean staff will be no better off, adding to low morale, burnout and disillusion.

Hospital admissions are rising, the backlog feels overwhelming, and the threat of the worst winter ever is looming large.

Unison gave the pay review body and the government compelling evidence that a minimum £2,000 rise would be enough to persuade people to stay. But both chose to disregard this.

The Royal College of Nursing urged the government to reconsider the pay award last week after its members said in a ballot that it was unacceptable. Other unions are also balloting health workers over pay.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party have been working towards the total privatisation of the National Health Service for the past 40 years. If this were not true, then the NHS would be in perfect health, and thriving in providing a top class service to the people.

      The working class have been undermined at each turn & struggle that they make in their desire to improve their standards of living. The few are still manipulating the many to profit for their own ends. Only political and Unionised action can end the parlous state of the NHS, and ensure the workers get a decent pay rise.

      Privatisation of the NHS must be reversed, & brought back into the public domain. Such an important element to the fabric of society must be Nationalised and run by the people, for the people.

      The profit is the health of the people, not the private financial gain for the few.

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