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Nurses don Rishi Sunak masks urging ‘proper pay rise’ for staff

Front-line workers deliver petition on NHS pay offer ahead of chancellor’s Spring Statement

Front-line workers arrived at parliament to deliver 178,000-strong petition on NHS pay offer ahead of chancellor’s Spring Statement on Wednesday

Dozens of nurses marched to parliament today wearing Rishi Sunak masks to protest the proposed NHS pay offer ahead of the chancellor’s Spring Statement.

Around 100 front-line workers from the GMB union gathered outside Westminster today calling for a ‘proper pay rise’ for NHS staff.

Protestors arrived on a ‘battle bus’ to deliver a petition signed by more than 178,000 people demanding more funding for the health service .

Nurses forced to campaign for proper

Front-line workers arrived at parliament to deliver 178,000-strong petition on NHS pay offer ahead of chancellor’s Spring Statement on Wednesday

Front-line workers deliver petition on NHS pay offer to parliament ahead of chancellor’s Spring Statement

Dozens of nurses marched to parliament today wearing Rishi Sunak masks to protest the proposed NHS pay offer ahead of the chancellor’s Spring Statement.

Around 100 front-line workers from the GMB union gathered outside Westminster today calling for a ‘proper pay rise’ for NHS staff.

Protestors arrived on a ‘battle bus’ to deliver a petition signed by more than 178,000 people demanding more funding for the health service.

Nurses forced to campaign for proper funding on their rest days, says union

‘Hardworking NHS staff have faced over a decade of real terms cuts to their pay and are working in dangerously understaffed and high-risk environments daily,’ said nurse and GMB organiser Holly Turner.

‘It’s beyond belief that on their rest days they feel forced to campaign and protest to demand proper funding for the health service – just to maintain safety for themselves, their patients and each other.’

Some demonstrators wore black armbands symbolising the ‘death of the NHS’ along with the hundreds of thousands of people who have died from COVID-19.

GMB union organiser and nurse Holly Turner (middle) with front-line NHS workers delivering the petition to Downing Street
GMB union organiser and nurse Holly Turner (middle) with
front-line NHS workers delivering the petition to Downing Street

The protest was organised alongside NHS Workers Say No and SOS NHS in protest at the government’s pay offer of 3% for 2022-23. They say with inflation running at 7.8% and rocketing household bills, the offer amounts to a pay cut in real terms.

Mr Sunak is due to announce budget changes in his Spring Statement on Wednesday, with a cut in fuel duty being considered to combat rising petrol prices.

NHS staff morale at ‘an all-time low’ amid concerns over real-term pay cuts

Nurse Holly Johnston who attended said: ‘We started this campaign and petition because as front-line workers we have seen the devastating impact of an underfunded and understaffed service on patient safety throughout the pandemic and before it.

‘The deliberate erosion of the NHS also means staff feel unvalued by this government, having received what is in real terms pay cuts, year after year. NHS staff and patients deserve more and we need to see investment in the NHS to safeguard its future.’

The GMB today gave evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body asking them to ‘take the anger felt by our members seriously’. The union said staff morale is at an ‘all-time low’ and a below inflation pay award ‘only services to rub salt in the wounds’.

On Monday Unison’s Northern branch also held a protest in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, to demonstrate against the rising cost of fuel and travel expenses and the impact on homecare workers, district nurses and occupational therapists.


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