UNISON’s campaign for all NHS staff to be given a significant pay rise has been backed by Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan who this week (Thursday) visited health workers to show his support.
Stephen added his voice to the union’s call for all staff employed across the health service to receive an early pay rise of at least £2,000 as he met UNISON workplace representatives at the city’s St Mary’s Hospital.
The NHS pay review is due next April, but health workers, already worn out from the early stages of the pandemic, say bringing the increase forward would help staff feel more valued as the second wave continues.
It takes a whole team of people to deliver an outstanding health service and all NHS staff, whatever their job, have been on the front line of the fight against coronavirus. That’s why UNISON, the largest trade union in the NHS, is calling for the government to recognise their work with an across-the-board rise for all NHS staff.
Portsmouth Health UNISON branch secretary Jenny Ford (pictured right) said: “I see the tireless work being put in by NHS colleagues to care for patients on a daily basis.
“But the pandemic has affected us profoundly with many people feeling burnt-out and there’s a real risk some may choose to leave the NHS, such are the levels of exhaustion.
“Raising pay this year could help persuade staff to change their minds and make the NHS more attractive to thousands of much-needed recruits. It will also make a huge difference to lower-paid staff struggling to make ends meet.
“Stephen Morgan’s support for our campaign means a lot to NHS workers at the hospital and it was great that he could visit us in person.
“With winter almost here, pressure on NHS staff is again increasing. Now is the perfect time for the government to follow Stephen’s lead, agree UNISON’s pay claim and show how much they really value our NHS staff.”
Stephen Morgan, Labour Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South (pictured centre) said: “I’m proud to support UNISON’s campaign and have long-argued that all of our NHS staff should be paid what they deserve.
“We cannot be clapping for our frontline workers one week, then scrimping on their pay the next, particularly when so many have made incredible sacrifices to keep us safe and secure during this crisis.
“An early pay rise would be a huge vote of confidence in our frontline healthcare staff, who are still battling the second wave of the pandemic. It would boost spending in our City’s economy and help our public services recruit the staff they need. It’s high time this government properly rewarded the service and sacrifice of Portsmouth’s key workers.”
Notes to editors:
– According to UNISON/Savanta ComRes polling published in July, a majority of the public (69%) think all NHS staff should get an early pay rise. Two thirds (66%) of the public believe a wage increase for employees should be significant in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. An overwhelming majority (85%) believe pay should increase.
– UNISON estimates that a £2,000 pay rise for all NHS staff would cost around £2.8bn in England (plus additional spending in the devolved administrations).
– Agenda for Change staff in the NHS are currently covered by a three-year pay and reform deal, due to end on 31 March 2021.
– The UNISON claim is for an increase of at least £2,000 to every point on the NHS salary scale. This would take minimum earnings up from around £18,000 to £20,005 (£20,478 in Scotland) and take the lowest rate in the NHS above the real living wage. The £2,000 would be worth 8% for a newly qualified band 5 worker (for example, a nurse, paramedic or IT manager) and would take their annual salary to £26,907 (£27,100 in Scotland).
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.