NHS workers to demonstrate around the country this Saturday for fair pay

Press release on behalf of Keep Our NHS Public 

This Saturday 10 September 2020 will see more than 20 socially distanced protests take place around Britain organised by the grassroots group NHS Workers Say No to Public Sector Pay Inequality. [1] They are calling on the government to formally recognise the contribution of NHS staff during this pandemic by giving them a 15% pay rise. Nurses, junior doctors and other health workers have been left out of recent pay increases and many are struggling after a decade of wage freezes which has seen some staff lose up to 20% of their salary in real terms.

There are currently over 100,000 NHS vacancies. According to a recent survey, this is set to increase following the impact of COVID-19, [2] and retaining staff at all levels by valuing them financially is therefore vital to the future longevity of the NHS. Keep Our NHS Public are supporting these important events which will take place in a safe manner whilst observing social distancing guidelines. [3]

Holly Turner, nurse from ‘NHS workers Say No to Public Sector Pay Inequality’, says:

“NHS workers across the country continue to exercise their right to peaceful protest. National days of action are so important to raise awareness of our movement. Last week the prime minister said in parliament that we had received a 12.5% pay rise, we need to call this out as it is not the case. There are over 100,000 vacancies in the NHS and workers are struggling to do their jobs safely whilst dealing with both high risk working conditions and chronic understaffing. We are calling on the public to get behind us in supporting NHS workers, and the NHS as a whole. The workers are the NHS! As we approach a second wave, services will not cope unless the government moves forward with placing value in its NHS workers and paying us what we are owed.”

Alia Butt, Psychotherapist and chair of NHS Staff Voices (part of Keep Our NHS Public) says:

“The NHS Staff demand for a pay increase was announced in response to the disingenuous public sector pay rise boasted about by the government. The pay rise excluded most front-line staff, including nurses who have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic, and in the many years preceding it, despite the cuts to their pay and training fees. As we approach a second wave of COVID-19 there must be action to rectify these inequalities and injustices. On Saturday we once again take to the streets to demand we are properly paid and after a real-time pay cut of around 20%, we the NHS staff, are not asking for much.”

For further interview, photographs or comment, please contact Samantha Wathen, Press Officer for Keep Our NHS Public [email protected] or call 07776047472

Notes to editors

[1] Keep Our NHS Public are supporting this action, but not organising it. For more information please go to https://www.facebook.com/NHSworkersSayNo

[2] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-doctors-nhs-pandemic-pay-rise-latest-government-survey-a9706836.html

[3] Keep Our NHS Public is a major non-party political campaigning group striving for a fully funded, and publicly owned NHS www.keepournhspublic.com