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Labour Must Back the NHS Workers’ Pay Demands – Campaign Pack for CLP activists launched

“Sadly, clapping on our doorsteps does not put food on the table of those who have suffered 10 years of real pay cuts under Tory Governments.”

Kate Osborne MP

By the Labour Assembly Against Austerity Team.

Labour activists have launched a new drive to support NHS workers seeking a significant pay rise this year, with the simple slogan, NHS Pay: Give NHS Workers What They’re Asking For

Following the government’s proposal of just a 1% increase – in fact a slap in the face real terms pay cut – for hard working NHS staff, Labour activists from the Labour Assembly Against Austerity are organising to build the pressure needed to force the government to properly reward them. 

After a decade of pay ‘restraint’ resulting in a real terms cut of almost 10% for NHS staff, the pay demands of the major NHS trade unions exceed 10% this year, with Unite and GMB demanding a 15%, RCN of 12.5% and Unison of at least £2,000 at every point on NHS salary scale.

Labour Assembly Against Austerity’s new campaign pack offers a model resolution to take to a local constituency party meeting, and actions to take in the local community to build solidarity, such as organising local zoom briefings with NHS staff and their trade union representatives in order to hear their experience, to activities on your own street, such as posters in your window, to community handclaps and cavalcades. It sets out how to contact your local NHS trade union reps, and the organisations such as NHS Staff Voices and NHS Workers Say No, which are leading solidarity and campaigning activity.

The campaign pack makes clear that Labour needs to stand fully by the demands of trade unions and NHS workers, and also highlights the pledge of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs to support industrial action if staff believe it necessary, and urges Labour colleagues to pledge to support NHS workers through support for their collective action and through practical solidarity activity in our local communities.

Welcoming the launch, Kate Osborne MP said, “It is so important for Labour activists to get stuck into campaigning for the NHS staff who have put their lives on the line every day throughout this crisis.
“A post-pandemic NHS faces new challenges that range from further waves of infection to the long-term demand on NHS services from ‘long-covid’.  A significant pay rise would help the NHS retain staff to meet these new demands, it would also mean an improvement in the delivery of care.
“Many of us have applauded NHS staff from our doorsteps for keeping us safe throughout the pandemic.  But sadly, clapping on our doorsteps does not put food on the table of those who have suffered 10 years of real pay cuts under Conservative Governments.  The Government must bring forward a significant pay rise that would finally reflect the respect and value we place in their work.”

Richard Burgon MP added, “We see the Tories’ real priorities when they are refusing to give nurses a proper pay rise but in the same breath are allocating billions more on military spending and on increasing the number of nuclear weapons. This is exactly the wrong set of priorities and the public agree with us. If we step up our campaigning we can win this fight.”

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