A trade union has called for healthcare workers to join protests in its campaign for fair pay at Northampton General Hospital today (Thursday, June 5).
UNISON, the UK’s biggest public sector trade union with more than 1.3 million members, has urged nurses, paramedics, porters, cleaners, cooks, therapists and healthcare assistants across the country to hold official protests.
However, no official protest has been organised at Kettering General Hospital.
The demonstrations are taking place over an offer which UNISON says denies 60 per cent of NHS workers – including 70 per cent of nurses – a pay rise.
UNISON has condemned the Government’s decision to offer a one per cent increase only to NHS staff at the top of their pay scale.
The union says the protests will also highlight what it calls the dire state of NHS pay.
Dave Godson, head of health for UNISON in the our region, said: “We are calling on all our members working in the health service in the East Midlands to publicly protest against the unacceptable pay offer from the Government.
“We are the largest health union, and we take the responsibility that comes with that very seriously. Members don’t take action often or easily, but this time it feels that we have no choice.
“We want to use this day to build support for a resounding yes vote when we ballot for strike action.
“Our members in the NHS tell us they are demoralised, overworked and undervalued. And we also know that a demotivated workforce is bad for patients. Pay in the NHS has been effectively cut by 10 per cent since the coalition came to power.
“Our members are among those hit hard by the state of the economy, the rise in the cost of food and fuel, coupled with housing and benefit cuts.
“It is a national disgrace that working people have to rely on benefits, food banks or resort to payday loans at exorbitant interest rates to make ends meet.”