Keep Our NHS Public endorses Heath Campaigns Together Statement on Pay justice for NHS workers
The following statement was written by Chair of Health Campaigns Together (HCT) Mike Forster
HCT notes the government’s announcement on 4th March to recommend a 1% pay increase for all NHS Staff to the Pay Review Body (PRB). This has quite rightly set off a whirlwind of protest and anger. It is clear that once again the government has underestimated the public mood. Even NHS Providers and Simon Stevens are saying that they have budgeted for a 2.1% increase! The 1% ‘offer’ is a disgrace and will ensure that NHS pay continues to lag behind the cost of living. Over the last decade of wage restraint, pay for NHS staff has fallen in real terms by 15-20%, whilst MPs have had 8 pay rises over the same period taking their pay from £66,396 to £81,932.
HCT stands in solidarity with all those trade unions which have rejected this miserable offer and acknowledge this is one of the most important challenges facing the NHS staff unions. We recognise that it is important that there is coordinated and united opposition to the 1% which has to be resolutely opposed. We have therefore suggested to all the health unions to invite HCT and other health campaign groups to the next summit of the health unions, to help develop a coordinated strategy to unite the staff with the public and push back against the government. HCT recognises that working jointly with Keep Our NHS Public it is well placed to assist this campaign by mobilising community support for any joint union approach. This will act as a clarion call to all staff and demonstrate that our movement is prepared to assist in pushing the government back.
HCT also recognises that it has a responsibility to help build mass support with effective public campaigning and on social media platforms. As circumstances allow, we would also be prepared to once again help organise local protests and a national demonstration to fight the pay freeze and wage restraint along with proper public funding for the NHS.
We have identified the NHS Anniversary of 5th July as an ideal time to coordinate with the unions to hold locally coordinated protests at as many town or city centre / hospital venues as possible, most likely over the first weekend of July (3rd – 4th). We call on all local groups and affiliates to support this initiative and to reach out to local unions and social media groups to coordinate any activity at local and regional levels.