NHS workers need a pay rise

To Matt Hancock, health secretary

The proposed 1% pay rise for NHS workers is an insult from the government. We need to pay NHS staff properly for the vital work that they do.

Nurses, carers, cleaners and other healthcare workers are working flat out every day to keep hospitals running and save as many lives as they can, just as they are every single day when there is not a pandemic. 

Tragically, it is estimated that more than 600 NHS workers have died of coronavirus, and many more suffer from mental health problems after working throughout the pandemic.

But despite this, NHS workers don’t get rewarded with a corresponding salary. In fact, nursing salaries have fallen behind the cost of living for a decade. Ridiculously the government claims 1% is “the most we can afford” – while it pays out billions to crony contractors.

The Scottish government has announced a pay rise of 4% for NHS workers in Scotland – the Westminster government can surely at least match that figure.

Even a 15% pay rise would mean that nurses and other healthcare staff’s salaries are only brought up to the level where it would have been, if they had not been given below-inflation pay rises since 2010.

All of us who live in the UK owe healthcare workers a huge debt of gratitude and we need to pay them in a way that will make a real difference in their lives: a substantial pay rise. 

“As an NHS worker I am insulted. I cannot imagine what those doctors, nurses and allied staff in high Covid areas are going through for the second time in less than a year and this shameful government denied them a decent pay rise.”

Joan, Bristol

“I’m a nurse and work well over my contracted hours every week. I’m exhausted and struggling to make ends meet as a single mum.”

Serena, Lincolnshire

“I’m a nurse and we do not get paid enough for all the hours we put in, loss of time we spend with family. This pandemic is killing us all one way or another – we watch people die every day, every hour, we are also traumatised but still have to go on.”

Tina, East London

Years of capped pay rises make it almost impossible for NHS workers to have a fair standard of living.

Bob, Oxford

I used to work for the Health Service – the pay is dreadful, the conditions at work are dreadful. After the response of NHS staff to the Covid-19 disaster created by Johnson they deserve at least 15%. Thank you NHS.

Janet, North London

Nurses are long overdue a pay rise, particularly given the hard conditions, long hours and extra stress throughout the Covid pandemic, where their dedication has not faltered.

Deborah, Denbighshire

We have to value those who work for the good of society.

Christine, Bournemouth

 

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