“We have urged Keir Starmer & the Labour Leadership to take more action &support us in our fight for pay justice.”Holly Turner, NHS Workers Say No
By Holly Turner, NHS Workers Say No
Last summer a group of Nurses created NHS Workers Say No, a campaign group fighting for pay justice for all NHS workers after a decade of real terms cuts to our wages. We kicked off the #NHSPay15 movement to increase pressure on the Government to pay us what we are owed. Major Health Trade Unions such as GMB and UNITE also support our demands and are actively campaigning with us.
It’s no surprise that we have 100,000 vacancies across the NHS (predicted to rise to 250,000 by 2030), when we have seen our pay cut by up to a fifth. We know from polling that 1 in 3 Nurses want to quit so we are hurtling into an increasingly alarming situation, how on earth can we be expected to retain our highly skilled and experienced staff when they are repeatedly beaten down and degraded by this Government? As workers we have been left trying to plug the recruitment crisis, whilst not being paid properly and even as we continue to give our all, we are repeatedly ignored regarding our pay and now this Government has delayed our pay anniversary which should have been in April, why? We all need to be taking this situation very seriously, because if we don’t force change the NHS will become increasingly dangerous, this is about safety and standards is why we are fighting for pay justice as safety is intrinsically linked to that. Without a restorative pay increase an already chronically understaffed workforce will be destroyed, and would be a move which would speed up privatisation in the NHS. We will be see more NHS staff leaving or potentially working for outsourced companies and privatisation will speed up at an alarming rate which will have consequences for us all.
After a decade of cuts to our wages, the government’s recent offer of a 1 percent pay rise increase – a further real terms pay cut – is a kick in the teeth and adds insult to severe injury.
We have also publicly urged Keir Starmer and the Labour Party Leadership to take more action and support us in our fight for pay justice. Keir Starmer has failed to make clear what he thinks acceptable pay rise should be, other than it should be “at least 2.1%” and “fair”. This is not good enough, as leader of the opposition and representing a party with a proud history of championing public services and fair treatment of workers, we should be able to count on his support. We expect to see the party that formed the NHS, get behind the workers in their fight to save it.
What we are seeing now is workers becoming organised, building power within their unions and increasing the pressure in fighting for we are owed, and we are united in doing that. So if you are a nurse or healthcare worker, or an ally of our profession, then please support us in our fight.
- Get involved & show your support at https://twitter.com/NurseSayNO/
- This article is part of Labour Outlook‘s special 8 page Summer Update produced for the June 26 demonstrations against the Tories. Read & download at https://labouroutlook.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Labour-Outlook-june-2021.pdf