Public urged to join slow clap to protest 1% NHS pay rise

07 Mars, 2021, 04:16 | Auteur: Christine Menetries

"Over one million NHS staff continue to benefit from multi-year pay deals agreed with trade unions, which have delivered a pay rise of over 12% for newly qualified nurses and will increase junior doctors' pay scales by 8.2%".

The panel is due to make its own pay recommendations in early May, when ministers will make their final decision.

© Getty Images SALFORD, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Responding to the government's NHS pay proposal, the Royal College of Nursing has released a digital billboard message showing the image of a nurse in PPE with the message: "Look them in the eyes and tell them they're only worth an extra £3.50 a week" on March 5, 2021 in Salford, England.

The health department recommended the 1% pay award to the independent panel that advises the government on NHS salaries.

And Unite - the third largest union in the NHS - said it is considering a strike ballot.

Sir Keir Starmer has called on the Conservatives to do more for NHS workers. A day after the Budget giveaways for some, the Government is attempting to impose either a 1% pay rise on NHS workers or more cuts after a decade of austerity.

Royal College of Nursing general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: "This is pitiful and bitterly disappointing".

"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".

Although these assumptions were published in 2019 before the pandemic, NHS Providers said the past year has "strengthened the case for a larger pay rise for NHS staff".

Simon Walsh, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association's United Kingdom consultants committee, said the "derisory" recommendation "reflects that the government is really out of touch with the feeling of the public on this".

The government has repeatedly insisted that a 1% increase is all they can afford at a time when public finances are already stretched due to the pandemic.

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"One of the challenges we've faced as a country is in terms of the financial consequences of the pandemic", he said.

At a Downing Street press conference on Friday, Mr Hancock said he was "very pleased" that NHS staff had been taken out of the pay freeze levied on the rest of the public sector, but added: "We do have issues of affordability".

"We've proposed what we think is affordable to make sure in the NHS people do get a pay rise".

The pay award would cover almost all hospital staff, but not Global Positioning System and dentists. Staff have been given an "interim" pay rise of 1%, which will form part of the new settlement.

Ministers have been accused of snatching a 2.1 per cent pay rise, promised prior to the pandemic, from NHS workers.

A government spokesperson said 1% was a "real-terms increase", as the latest official inflation figure was 0.9%.

The British government has found itself scrambling to defend a wage increase for National Health Service (NHS) workers, which critics have described as an "insult".

Labour's shadow health minister Rosena Allin-Khan said the recommended 1% pay increase was "nothing short of an insult".

The Scottish government has announced that 2021-22 pay negotiations will be delayed until the summer because of the disruption caused by Covid.

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