Insulting, Demoralising, Unacceptable – Health Unions Respond to Pay Offer

“Our heroic NHS workers should be given the pay rise they are asking for.”

Jeremy Corbyn MP

By the Labour Assembly Against Austerity Team

‘Insulting, demoralising, unacceptable.’

That is what health sector unions described the recommendation of a 3% pay rise for health staff, by the pay review body, yesterday. And Left Labour MPs joined in the condemnation of the proposal. The NHS Workers Say No Health workers activist group meanwhile, who had presented an 800,000 strong petition in support of a 15% pay rise to Downing St earlier in the week, announced ‘mass demo planning’ was under way, on social media.

The unions, from Unite, to UNISON, the GMB, and the Royal College of Nursing had demanded increases of 12.5 – 15% or at least £2000 per year.

They will now consult their memberships on how to respond.

Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said:  “The Pay Review Body’s recommendation of three per cent is grossly inadequate and underwhelming, and in no way recognises the 19 per cent drop in real earnings that many NHS workers have endured in the last decade, nor the Herculean sacrifices that health staff have and are continuing to make as Covid infection rates rapidly rise again.”

He added, “Unite will be consulting widely with our 100,000 members in the health service in the coming days and weeks as to the next steps which will include a consultative ballot on industrial action.”

UNISON said staff deserve more and that they were calling an emergency meeting of its Health Executive Committee.
The GMB said it was ‘insulting and shameful’ and that the offer was lower than the RPI rate of inflation. The union said it would be recommending its members say no to the offer.

The Royal College of Nursing said it was a ‘bitter blow’ to nursing staff and that the Treasury was ‘knowingly cutting pay in real terms’. The new RCN General Secretary Pat Cullen said ‘the profession will not take this lying down’ as it would risk further staff shortages, and would consult members on action to take.

Jeremy Corbyn said, ‘Our heroic NHS workers should be given the pay rise they are asking for.’ Meanwhile, John McDonnell, said ‘with inflation rising, this is a pay cut not a pay rise and the teachers are being offered even less. It’s time to start building support for a joint campaign to demand decent pay.’

Leave a Reply