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Nurse protests planned over lack of pay rise for NHS workers

Unite calls public sector pay announcement a ‘slap in the face’ for nurses and other NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts
Nurses with banners voice their disapproval at lack of pay rise outside Downing Street during the COVID-19 crisis

Unite calls public sector pay announcement a slap in the face for nurses and other NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts

Nurses across the UK are set to protest in response to the governments exclusion of many NHS workers from its recent public sector pay rise announcement.

The first of 25 planned demonstrations will take place on Wednesday 29 July.

Nurse demonstrators to demand immediate pay rise for all NHS staff

Organised by the union Unite and supported by campaign group Nurses United, the demonstration will start at 5pm outside St Thomass Hospital in London and continue to Downing Street.

The protesters will be demanding an immediate

Unite calls public sector pay announcement a ‘slap in the face’ for nurses and other NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts


Nurses with banners voice their disapproval at the lack of a pay rise outside Downing Street in June 
Picture: Alamy

Nurses across the UK are set to protest in response to the government’s exclusion of many NHS workers from its recent public sector pay rise announcement.

The first of 25 planned demonstrations will take place on Wednesday 29 July. 

Nurse demonstrators to demand immediate pay rise for all NHS staff

Organised by the union Unite and supported by campaign group Nurses United, the demonstration will start at 5pm outside St Thomas’s Hospital in London and continue to Downing Street.

The protesters will be demanding an immediate pay rise for all NHS staff, after those on Agenda for Change contracts were excluded from the public sector pay rise announced on 21 July.

Nurses United’s lead organiser, nurse Anthony Johnson, told Nursing Standard: ‘We all know who we relied on and needed in the COVID-19 crisis. The problem is that this government doesn’t.’

Mr Johnson said the poor pay conditions nurses have faced since 2010 amount to a 20% drop in pay, and is one of the contributing factors to nurse vacancies in England.

Unite’s Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital branch secretary Mark Boothroyd said nurses being excluded from the pay announcement felt like ‘a slap in the face’.

Band 5 NHS nurse ‘now £6,000 worse off than ten years ago’

According to Unite, a band 5 NHS nurse is more than £6,000 worse off today than ten years ago, due to salaries not keeping up with the rate of inflation.

In addition to Wednesday’s protest, a further 24 demonstrations will be held across the UK on 8 August, calling for nurses and NHS staff to have pay equality with other public sector workers.

All protests will enforce mask wearing and social distancing, organisers said.  

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said the government is committed to supporting the NHS and social care workforce and will ‘continue to ensure all staff are rewarded fairly’.

View our COVID-19 resource centre


Related material

NHS Workers Say NO! to Public Sector pay inequality


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