Portsmouth launches petition demanding better pay for NHS heroes

A CAMPAIGN has been launched urging the government to increase it’s ‘pitiful’ one per cent pay rise offer for NHS workers.

Saturday, 6th March 2021, 5:19 pm

The drive has been launched by Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan who branded the wage increase as the ‘ultimate kick in the teeth’ for health workers.

Mr Morgan, Labour's shadow armed forces minister, said: ‘On multiple occasions ministers have said that NHS staff should receive the pay they deserve, regularly describing healthcare workers as “heroes”. Yet the words of the health secretary have not matched this government’s deeds.

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Clap for Carers taking place at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham last May Picture: Sarah Standing (280520-9091)

‘The one per cent pay rise proposal for NHS staff announced by the Conservatives this week will amount to a real terms pay cut after inflation.

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‘This cut is the ultimate kick in teeth to dedicated key workers across our city who have done so much to keep us safe over the past year.

‘These promises to nurses now lie in tatters. That is why I have launched this petition to keep the pressure up and call on government to think again.

‘This is an opportunity for Portsmouth people to tell Ministers loud and clear, our city’s NHS staff deserve a fair pay rise.’

Tory MPs have since joined the backlash against the government’s one per cent wage increase.

Conservative backbencher Sir Roger Gale is among those rebelling against the government, accusing it of acting in an ‘inept’ way.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I think more is needed. I think the way that this has been presented and handled has been inept. We are facing exceptional circumstances and yes, I know, that over a period of three years nurses have had a considerable pay increase, but that is not what I think the public wants in terms of recognition of a wholly exceptional situation.’

Health minister Nadine Dorries has since opened the door to possibly increasing the proposed salary award after having previously claimed it was all the government could afford following the crippling impact of the pandemic on the UK’s finances.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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