Emma joins NHS staff in their fight for fair pay

October 17, 2014

141013 NHS Pay PicketOn Monday (13 October) Emma joined local NHS workers as they went on strike against low pay.

Members from Unison, GMB and the Royal College of Midwives were protesting against the Government’s decision not to give staff a 1% pay rise.

Earlier this year the independent NHS Pay Review Body recommended a 1% pay rise for all NHS staff.  But for the first time in history the Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt ignored the recommendation and kept workers’ pay frozen.

Tens of thousands of staff across the country took action to show the Government that the pay freeze was unacceptable.

Staff have already seen their pay fall behind inflation year after year, with some wages 15% lower than they were in 2010.  Even as wages fall, staffing shortages and increasing pressure on the NHS mean that staff are increasingly overworked.

The situation is so difficult for staff that the Royal College of Midwives voted for strike action for the first time in its 133 year history.

Labour has called on the Government to reverse its unfair decision and give NHS staff the rise they deserve.

Emma also highlighted the pressures facing NHS services this week in the House of Commons, telling David Cameron that South Tyneside Hospital was facing new pressure following the decision to close Jarrow Walk-in Centre.

Emma said:

“NHS staff dedicate their lives to helping others in times of crisis, but when they are facing a crisis of their own the Government doesn’t want to know.  Staff in Shields have been getting worse and worse off every year under this Prime Minister, and now they’re being denied even a 1% pay rise.

“Under the Tories NHS staff are overworked, services are struggling, and patients are waiting longer for treatment.  The Government wasted £3 billion on its unwanted NHS reorganisation – it should have been putting that money into services and patient care, and getting a fairer deal for hard-working staff.” 

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