Nurses have expressed their “utter dismay” at the government’s proposed 3% pay increase. And they’ve described the offer as “a big kick in the teeth”.
NHS staff claim they’re dealing with a “massive haemorrhage” of workers following the pandemic and said the proposal was insulting.
Hundreds of medical workers, both past and present, took to the streets on Friday 31 July. And they marched to Downing Street to protest the deal.
Demonstrators gathered outside St Thomas’ hospital in central London before making their way across Westminster bridge to Whitehall.
They called for the prime minister to listen to their concerns. Some held banners with slogans saying “Save our NHS from the Tories”.
Janet Maiden speaks to health workers (PA Video/PA)
‘A big kick in the teeth’
Nurse Janet Maiden described the pay increase as “not significant enough” and the resulting staff shortages as “criminal”. Speaking outside Downing Street, she told the PA news agency:
It’s a big kick in the teeth because we know and we’ve heard and seen that there’s money in the system…
I think people naively thought, especially when they saw Boris Johnson naming the nurses who cared for him … that he might change his mind, so, yes, it is a real insult.
Three per cent is not significant enough for us, I’m afraid.
People are voting with their feet and leaving the health service, and that’s criminal.
Demonstrator David Carr said:
I was in utter dismay, we’re dealing with a massive haemorrhage of staff from the NHS, huge vacancies among nurses and other grades of staff.
Three per cent is not going to rectify the historic crisis of staffing inside the NHS.
Personally, I felt kicked in the teeth, I felt insulted after what we’ve done with both waves of Covid to be offered 3%, I found it really depressing.
It took the wind out of my sails and made me sad.
“Get your finger out,” Boris Johnson
Others called on the prime minister to take further action following the proposal announcements.
Addressing Boris Johnson directly, nurse Shelley Pearce said:
Get your finger out and listen to the people and do what you are supposed to be doing.
You’re currently out on your jollies, having your summer holidays and people in this country are continually dying because of policy decisions you have made.
Get round a table, listen to people in parliament and correct some of the lies made at the despatch box.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?