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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 March 2021

Tories 1% and Labour's 500 are pay insults

NHS pay: 15% now

Health workers protest for a 15% pay rise. Photo: Steve Eason/CC

Health workers protest for a 15% pay rise. Photo: Steve Eason/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Wales NHS Nurse

NHS staff are seething about the Tories 1% pay 'rise'. Now the Labour-controlled Welsh government has announced a one-off 500 bonus for NHS workers. Nationally, Labour is suggesting only a 2.1% pay rise - no less of an insult than the Tories' 1%.

Westminster and the devolved governments are seriously underestimating NHS workers' anger if they think single-figure increases and one-off bonuses are enough. Obviously we welcome the bonus, but we will not be sidetracked from the fight for a 15% pay rise.

NHS workers did an estimated 1,000,000 unpaid overtime hours during the pandemic. Is 500 going to make up for that?

Our wages have gone down in value by around 20% in the last decade. A one-off bonus will not reverse that.

It won't improve recruitment and retention, and will soon be swallowed up by rising living costs. It won't change the fact that most NHS workers have to do second jobs, agency and bank shifts on top of their full-time hours.

Even this measly offer from Labour isn't out of the goodness of their hearts. This is the same Welsh Labour government that lied about PPE shortages during the first Covid wave.

The Welsh Government has the power to award a 15% pay rise to NHS workers. The trade union movement should be putting pressure on the Welsh government to pay up and raise a challenge to Westminster to provide the funds for 15% across the board.

NHS workers in England and Wales will continue to fight for an immediate 15% pay rise, and for any bonuses to be paid equally across the UK. Even that is only the beginning of what we must fight for to retain the NHS.

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In The Socialist 24 March 2021:


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Protesting is not a crime

Defying the anti-protest restrictions

Police attempt to silence mothers

Police invade student homes


NHS

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Fighting NHS privatisation

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Help fund the Socialist Party's stand as part of TUSC


Fighting Sexual Harassment

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2011 Pensions Strike

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Engineering workers strike against 'fire and rehire' in Leicester

'Sleep-ins' ruling must lead to a huge campaign for social care workers' rights

Shrewsbury Pickets win: Convictions overturned

Sparks continue protests against deskilling

Beal High school strike as management refuse to negotiate over fair sick pay scheme

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Save John Carroll - fight is far from over!

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Online meeting - Ending violence against women, the socialist approach

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Readers' Opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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