TORY Social Care Minister Helen Whately was yesterday afternoon unable to give an update on the government’s NHS pay offer.
All she could say was that the government is still considering the recommendations of the Pay Review Body, which stands at a pitiful 1%.
Labour’s Rosena Allin-Khan, shadow health minister, commented: ‘Once again we find that this government has had to row back on a shoddy ill-thought through position with their 1% pay rise, a real-terms pay cut, rejected by the Independent Pay Body. So what does the government do? Nothing. Less than an hour ago there was repeated briefings on what this deal was going to be but it turns out to be nothing.
‘Our NHS staff deserve better than this. They have worked incredibly hard throughout this pandemic.’
Allin-Khan continued: ‘With vacancies around the health service retaining staff is absolutely vital, especially when the NHS is embarking on an NHS booster campaign, tackling the coming wave of coronavirus hospitalisations, treating the growing number of Long-Covid cases and dealing with the ever mounting backlog.’
Commenting on the further ministerial delays in the NHS pay award, RCN Interim General Secretary and Chief Executive, Pat Cullen, said: ‘This treatment of our NHS workers is shameful.
‘Ministers are holding them in contempt and we have no choice but to condemn this behaviour.
‘With tens of thousands of nursing vacancies and thousands more considering their future in the profession, the government is sending the worst possible signal with this political gameplaying.
‘Ministers need to stop the wrangling and come clean about the pay rise they believe NHS staff deserve. Nursing staff will only accept this pay award if it’s significant, consolidated and fully funded with additional monies.’
The GMB trade union said that NHS workers had been let down again by ‘the outrageous non-announcement’.
It is to write to the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary demanding they intervene before recess to announce the pay rise.
Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said: ‘This is completely outrageous – virtually the last day of Parliament and the government has insulted hard-working NHS workers once again by staying silent.
‘NHS workers who tuned in to watch the Minister today will be rightly disgusted by this lack of respect
‘NHS staff have put themselves in harm’s way throughout the pandemic and as a health union we cannot accept MPs swanning off on holiday leaving health workers in limbo.
‘GMB has today written to the Prime Minister and Health Secretary to demand they intervene and set out their response on NHS pay before the summer recess.’
Health workers will be very, very angry at the government’s refusal to increase the current 1% offer.
They are demanding at least a 15% rise and are prepared to take strike action to achieve it.
Millions of workers will support them and many have already pledged that they will take general strike action to bring the government down and replace it with a workers government if it will not give NHS workers a 15% rise!