News

Slow hand clap protest over nurses 1% pay offer

Unison says prime minister should rethink pay deal after staff’s role in COVID-19 response
Slow handclap for PM

Unison says prime minister should rethink pay deal after healthcare staffs role in COVID-19 response

A slow hand clap for prime minister Boris Johnson has been held to ramp up the pressure on government to rethink its suggested 1% pay rise for NHS staff on Agenda for Change (AfC) contracts.

Organised by union Unison, the protest applause took place at 8pm on 11 March , with the public and NHS workers invited to participate.

Keeping pressure on government to improve pay offer

One of the nurses who took part

Unison says prime minister should rethink pay deal after healthcare staff’s role in COVID-19 response

Slow handclap for PM
Picture: iStock

A slow hand clap for prime minister Boris Johnson has been held to ramp up the pressure on government to rethink its suggested 1% pay rise for NHS staff on Agenda for Change (AfC) contracts.

Organised by union Unison, the protest applause took place at 8pm on 11 March, with the public and NHS workers invited to participate.

Keeping pressure on government to improve pay offer

One of the nurses who took part was deputy sister Janet Maiden, who joined other health workers on the steps of University College London Hospital.

Ms Maiden, a nurse for 37 years, hoped the applause will put pressure on government to improve their pay offer when the independent NHS Pay Review Body (RB), which advises the government on pay for the NHS’s AfC workforce, reports back its recommendations to ministers in May.

‘It’s important between hearing this news (of the 1% pay rise suggestion) the day after the budget and whenever the final announcement is on the pay offer, that we keep the pressure up,’ she said.

Other nurses and healthcare staff took to Twitter to share their slow claps at work or home.

Prime minister acknowledges ‘massive debt’ but not with better pay offer

A call for a vote on the pay rise issue was made at prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons on 10 March by Labour leader Keir Starmer, but the prime minister did not respond, emphasising instead the debt owed to nurses for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘We owe a massive debt as a society, and I personally, to the nurses of our NHS and that’s why we have asked the public sector Pay Review Body exceptionally to look at their pay,’ he said.

Mr Johnson added that apart from a pay rise, nurses wanted more colleagues on the wards, something his government was delivering on with 10,600 more nurses in the NHS.

While NHS England’s nursing workforce has increased, the number of full-time-equivalent vacancies remains high with 36,214 vacancies as of 31 December 2020.

Member of House of Lords says nurses are ‘well paid for the job’

Nurses’ pay was also debated in the House of Lords on 9 March, with Department of Health and Social Care Parliamentary under-secretary of state Lord Bethell drawing public ire for saying nurses are well paid.

‘Nurses are well paid for the job, which is a secure job, and they have other benefits,’ he said.


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs