medicine, healthcare and pandemic concept - sad young female doctor or nurse wearing face protective mask for protection from virus disease sitting on floor at hospital

Everyone across the country is being urged to join a mass slow handclap against the chancellor’s proposed 1% rise for NHS staff, in a campaign backed by UNISON.

The union is asking the public to stand on their doorsteps and balconies to protest next Thursday at 8pm. This is to show what they think about the government’s pay offer, which UNISON says is derisory.

The slow handclap will be repeated three weeks later on April 1, the day staff were due to have their next wage increase.

The Royal College of Nursing’s Chief Executive & General Secretary Dame Donna described the recommended pay rise of 1 per cent for nursing staff as “pitiful and bitterly disappointing.” and says that The government is “dangerously out of touch with nursing staff, NHS workers and the public.”

Yesterday they convened an emergency meeting yesterday following the Department of Health and Social Care’s submission of evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) in which it recommended a 1% pay award for NHS staff.

At the meeting, RCN Council voted unanimously for the RCN to immediately set up a £35 million industrial action fund.

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Millions stood on doorsteps and clapped for health staff who’ve given their all. Let’s now stand up for their right to fair wages.

“Give the chancellor a slow hand clap for his miserly one percent. Times may be tough but this deal is below-inflation and derisory. It’s like the worst of austerity is back.

“NHS staff have worked throughout the darkest days in health service history. They were expecting a fair increase that reflects their exceptional efforts.

“Nurses, midwives, porters, cleaners and other health workers are upset, hurt and angry. There were 100,000 vacancies even before Covid hit. Now the health service will be losing staff quicker than they can recruit new ones.

“This offer isn’t just bad for staff. It’s bad for the NHS and the patients it cares for.”


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