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Health workers urged to reject NHS 3% pay offer

·2 min read

A health workers union is to recommend rejection of the Government’s 3% pay deal and will have “no hesitation” in supporting members if they want to take industrial action.

The GMB said the increase was months late being paid, and amounted to another real-terms pay cut.

The union is campaigning for a 15% increase to make up for a decade of pay cuts under the Conservatives.

Its ballot opens on August 6 and closes on September 17.

Other health unions are considering their next step, with industrial action not being ruled out by some.

GMB national officer Rachel Harrison said: “A miserly 3% is simply not good enough. It’s another real-terms pay cut, and after the year health workers have had it’s downright offensive.

“GMB is calling for a restorative 15% increase to make up for a decade of slashed pay under the Conservatives.

“We have no hesitation in recommending members vote to reject the 3% and no hesitation in supporting members if they want to take action.”

The announcement was made as health workers staged a protest outside Downing Street over the 3% pay deal for NHS staff.

Workers, including from hospitals in London, marched to Downing Street amid continued anger over the delay in awarding a wage increase, which was due in April, but was only announced last week.

Nurses described the 3% increase as “criminal” after a year of struggle, resulting in more and more people leaving the profession.

Speaking in Whitehall, Janet Maiden said: “It’s a big kick in the teeth because we know and we’ve heard and seen that there’s money in the system.

“People are voting with their feet and leaving the health service and that’s criminal,” she told the PA news agency.

David Carr added he had been in “utter dismay” following the announcement and found the news “really depressing”.

“It took the wind out of my sails and made me sad,” he said.

The Unite national officer for health, Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, said: “We fully support our health members in their protest at the grossly inadequate and underwhelming 3% pay recommendation.

“We believe that the public shares our disgust at this paltry offer, which reinforces our resolve for pay justice.

“The Government decision to accept the NHS Pay Review Body’s recommendation was too little and too late after we have been asking for an early and significant pay rise for health workers for over a year.

“Three per cent will do very little to staunch the escalating recruitment and retention crisis. It is estimated there are 100,000 vacancies in the health service and very little in the way of a plan to recruit the numbers needed.”

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