Government risk strikes by snubbing calls to give hero NHS staff ‘pay restoration’ rise


NHS workers including hero nurses and doctors who worked to save lives during the pandemic could strike this year amid planned pay rises of around 3%, says the TUC

Carers could strike over the pay deals

The Tories are risking strikes by carers by considering NHS pay rises of just 3% to 4%.

Hero nurses are seeking a 14% increase, 5% above current inflation, and junior doctors want 22% or they may strike in the winter.

If Health Secretary Sajid Javid follows NHS Pay Review Body advice and imposes a 3% rise that would mean nurses’ pay falls £1,600 in real terms, says the TUC.

The British Medical Association estimates doctors have suffered a real-term pay cut of 30% since 2008.

And Dr Emma Runswick told the BMA conference: “Pay restoration is the right, just and moral thing to do.

“But I’m not foolish, I know that it’s likely that industrial action will be required. It is outrageous that our pay has been cut by 30%.

“It is outrageous that doctors today are unable to afford mortgages and are delaying starting families due to falling pay.”

Carers have been offered around 3% increases
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The NHS has about 100,000 staff vacancies but the precise figure is unknown as the Tories have rejected a bid for an independent assessment.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA chairman, said nearly half of doctors suffer from depression, anxiety or burnout.

He said: “You can’t run an NHS by exploiting a well of goodwill which has totally run dry.

“Doctors will and are walking away.”

UNISON’s Sara Gorton said: “Anything less than inflation would be a pay cut in all but name.”

Care staff in Bristol and Lancashire and South Cumbria have voted to strike.

Simon Clarke, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “We’re carrying an £83billion debt interest payment this year … we can’t tolerate wildly excessive public sector pay claims.”

Doctors claim to have suffered a real-terms pay cut of 30% since 2008 amid threats of industrial action to gain “restoration pay”.

Members at the British Medical Association’s (BMA) annual meeting in Brighton said that doctors’ pay has fallen that much against RPI since 2008.

It is said industrial action will be likely required
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Delegates at the conference mandated the BMA to “achieve pay restoration to 2008 value for its members within the next five years”.

“Pay restoration is the right, just and moral thing to do, but it is a significant demand and it won’t be easy to win,” said Dr Emma Runswick, presenting the motion to the conference.

“Every part of the BMA needs to plan for how to achieve this.

“But I’m not foolish, I know that it’s likely that industrial action will be required to move the Governments on this issue.”

She added: “It is outrageous that our pay has been cut by 30%.

“It is outrageous that doctors today are unable to afford mortgages and are delaying starting families due to falling pay.

“It is outrageous that our pay has been cut and it is sensible that we demand it back.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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