NHS staff across London urge the chancellor to do the right thing and fund a pay rise, says UNISON

Tuesday 2nd February 2021
For immediate release

NHS staff across London urge the chancellor to do the right thing and fund a pay rise, says UNISON

NHS workers in London have asked the chancellor to recognise the work they’ve done to protect lives and fund a decent pay rise in next week’s Budget, says UNISON today (Tuesday).

More than 60,000 health care assistants, porters, operating theatre staff, nurses, caterers, ambulance staff, cleaners and members of the public across the UK have signed a letter to Rishi Sunak asking him to properly reward NHS staff for their work before and during the pandemic.

Staff want the chancellor to back a pay rise of at least £2,000 for all NHS workers, many of whom have put their health, wellbeing and personal lives on the line since Covid-19 struck.

In the letter, workers challenge the chancellor to step up and do his bit, as they have. They argue a pay rise would show staff they’re valued, provide a much-needed morale boost for burnt-out workers and tip the balance for the thousands on the brink of leaving the NHS, the union adds.

A video accompanying the letter shows staff describing the intense pressure they’ve been under.

Ann, a domestic assistant, describes how difficult working through the pandemic has been: “It’s been very tiring – mentally and physically and has had a huge impact on my well-being. I’ve worked 6 days a week to support the team, I have also had the added worry of putting my husband at risk as he recently had bypass surgery and I have worked on a covid ward.

UNISON Greater London regional head of health Jamie Brown said: “Health workers have been battling the pandemic for a year. That’s a year of incredibly long-hours, heightened anxiety around the safety of family and friends, and fears about catching the virus.

“All while carrying out demanding roles and dealing with the trauma of many thousands of deaths.

“They’re giving their all to keep us safe. On Wednesday the chancellor can and should give something back to them on behalf of the nation.

“Rishi Sunak must do the right thing and back up words of praise with concrete actions by funding a pay rise of at least £2,000 for all NHS staff.”

Notes to editors:
– Alongside the letter to the chancellor that can be read here a video of NHS staff sharing their experiences of working during the pandemic can be viewed here.
– 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.

Media contacts:
Emma Davey M: 07432 733187 E: e.davey@unison.co.uk