Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 March 2021

NHS workers say: We are ready to fight Tory pay insult

NHS workers and supporters protest in London 7 March, photo Max B

NHS workers and supporters protest in London 7 March, photo Max B   (Click to enlarge)

Matt, NHS nurse

I've struggled to comment on the insulting real-term pay cut proposed by the government. I'm not naive, during clap for carers, we said: "Claps don't pay the bills."

The last year has been horrendous for NHS staff - the uncertainty, the PPE crisis, the changing guidance, seeing our colleagues off struggling with Covid. We've tried to get through, with gallows humour and support for each other, but we're exhausted

This isn't just a Covid issue. Our health service has been at breaking point for years.

Overstretched, stressed, working in unsafe conditions, pay freeze after pay freeze, real-term pay cut of 20%, cutting off the NHS student bursary, the list goes on.

With all the public support, the 'thank you NHS' posters, murals, badges on Premier League football shirts, we hoped, just maybe, we might see a reasonable pay increase.

Instead, we've been told there isn't any money. But there were literally tens of billions of pounds for privatised track and trace, crony PPE deals, and for MPs to get a pay rise.

We all deserve more - every single carer, nurse, physio, porter, technician, administrative staff, occupational therapist, and every member of staff in the NHS. We all deserve better, for holding the hand of the lonely patient, for being redeployed not knowing where we'll work, for being an inspiration to each other and everyone in the county.

The time is now for us to act. Our union representatives need to step up.

We need more than stunts, more than ridiculous slow handclaps - I'm looking at you Unison - we need action. We need support from everyone for a pay rise.

Adrian O'Malley, Unison health service executive (personal capacity)

The 1% pay rise for NHS workers proposed by the government is a kick in the teeth. Tory hypocrites, who stood and clapped for 'our NHS heroes' every Thursday last summer, are now saying the country cannot afford more than a paltry £250 a year, or 1% for the 1.3 million NHS staff.

Trade union members are asking: "What are we going to do about it?"

The government 1% pay recommendation has gone to the so-called independent Pay Review Body (PRB), due to announce its decision in May. We should not be appealing for more money from the PRB. It has never gone against government recommendations.

The union leaders must lodge a claim, directly to the government, for the 15% that was demanded by NHS staff in the mass meetings that took place in the summer. And they must prepare for industrial action ballots if the Tories don't deliver.

Unison, the biggest NHS trade union, must take the lead, and lodge similar pay claims across local government, police, schools and universities. The Tories have declared war on public sector workers by announcing yet another pay freeze.

We must respond by taking united action across the public sector, as we did in 2011, when millions of public sector workers struck in defence of our pensions. Only this time we must see it through, and win back what we have lost over years of pay freezes and austerity.

This rotten government can be beaten by the united action of NHS and public sector workers, who have the support of the millions who clapped us every Thursday.

We can, with organisation and solidarity, force the Tories back and win.

Tom Hunt, NHS nurse and Unison Notts healthcare chair (personal capacity)

As an NHS nurse for over 40 years, I have watched the service I love being dismantled piecemeal. The government's 1% pay rise proposal is shocking.

All NHS workers are in shock after the praise heaped on them during the pandemic. But this shock has quickly turned to anger, with staff looking to the unions to take a lead and stand up for them.

Despite the tsunami of job losses on the way, the public have shown through their weekly clapping that they support a significant pay rise for all care workers. The union leaders need to harness the anger in the workplace, knowing that the public will behind workers struggling for a pay rise.

Online Rally: NHS workers fight back

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 10 March 2021:

NHS pay

NHS pay - 15% now

NHS workers say: We are ready to fight Tory pay insult

Police disgracefully stop NHS pay protest


Super-deduction will help big business pay less tax

The 'old normal' meant poverty for young people

What we think

Tories keep bailing out bosses, while piling pain on workers and public services


Workers respond to 'back to school'

Workplace news

British Gas strikers reject deal and carry on fighting

Goodlord striker speaks out: 'workers have to fight for our skills to be appreciated'

Stop union busting on the buses: Reinstate Declan Clune and Moe Muhsin Manir

Sparks deskilling protests

Leicester university workers ballot for action against redundancies

Sainsbury's pay offer shows future will only be 'great pay' if we fight

PCS leadership failures lead to concession bargaining on pay

Manchester bus drivers' indefinite strikers fight on

London bus drivers continue walkout

Rosa Luxemburg

150th anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg's birth

Wealth Tax

Would a wealth tax end poverty and inequality?

Campaigns news

Socialist women speak at inspirational International Women's Day online rally

Why I joined the Socialist Party - to fight for the future of the working class

Why I'm standing for TUSC

Build subscriptions to the Socialist

Fighting fund target achieved - keep up the momentum

International news

Historic union battle at Alabama warehouse

10 years ago - the Fukushima nuclear disaster: "We came close to losing northern Japan"


The Socialist Inbox


Home   |   The Socialist 10 March 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleLow pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis

triangleNorth London NHS - "It's going to be us who saves it"

triangleNHS Covid staff crisis

triangleCoventry: Private profits from hospital parking

triangleBarts health workers to strike for a pay rise


triangleSolidarity with workers protesting in Kazakhstan

triangleKazakhstan: Working-class revolt only suppressed by massive mobilisation of troops

triangleWeetabix workers defeat 'fire and rehire' and ballot on improved pay offer

triangle10,000 tube workers vote to strike over jobs, terms and pension cuts


triangleTory test shortage failure

triangleBritain in 2022: Build a coordinated working-class fightback


triangleEast Mids rail conductors force concessions, train managers' dispute continues

triangleSouth Yorkshire bus strikes spreading and getting stronger


triangleFree prescriptions? Maybe when you're older

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis


Socialist Party

Pamphlet: What the Socialist Party stands for



Super-rich get richer, while we can't make ends meet. Join the fightback!



Low pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis



Covid, stress and cutbacks fuel school staff shortages


Black Lives Matter

Blow to establishment as jury backs Colston Four



Energy price crisis: nationalise energy giants to save us from 600 hit



Energy bosses: 'Jump, cuddle and eat porridge while we raise prices'



Tories concede under cladding pressure but don't go far enough



Shameless Johnson partied through lockdown



Tories' cost of living squeeze - Build workers' fightback



Union action needed for Covid safety



NHS Covid staff crisis


Tony Blair

Blair knighted for services to the rich and powerful



Tory test shortage failure



More fares misery for passengers - renationalise the railways

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

January 2022