Portsmouth NHS staff to demand pay rise with weekend protest

NHS staff are set to march through the city demanding a pay rise after they missed out on a salary boost.
Healthcare assistant Naomi Singh from PortsmouthHealthcare assistant Naomi Singh from Portsmouth
Healthcare assistant Naomi Singh from Portsmouth

Health workers are due a pay rise next April – but staff and unions want the government to show its appreciation for NHS staff by bringing it forward to this year.

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Healthcare assistant Naomi Singh, from Portsmouth, was left outraged and has organised a protest march this Saturday, starting in Guildhall Square before heading towards Gunwharf Quays.

NHS workers march from St Thomas' Hospital to Downing Street, London, to demand a pay rise on July 29. Participants include the members of Unite, Keep Our NHS Public and Nurses United. PA wireNHS workers march from St Thomas' Hospital to Downing Street, London, to demand a pay rise on July 29. Participants include the members of Unite, Keep Our NHS Public and Nurses United. PA wire
NHS workers march from St Thomas' Hospital to Downing Street, London, to demand a pay rise on July 29. Participants include the members of Unite, Keep Our NHS Public and Nurses United. PA wire
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The 26-year-old said: ‘We just feel like we have been overlooked again.

‘We always work hard and in the pandemic we have continued to work hard.

‘We put up with things because we say it is just the job and we love it but the truth is we should get paid well for what we do.’

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NHS staff in Portsmouth will join thousands of other workers who will also be marching for pay justice across the UK outside hospitals and through their communities.

Protests have already taken place in London.

Naomi added: ‘I heard about all the other protests and contacted the main group to organise one in Portsmouth.

‘As we are all health staff, being safe is the most important thing and we will be wearing face masks and keeping to social distancing with regular checks that everyone is two metres apart.’

The protest will begin at 11am and at 11.58am a two minute silence will be held to mark the frontline staff in England and Wales who have died after contracting coronavirus – thought to be at least 540 people.

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Meanwhile, Katrina Jennings, a radiologist department assistant at Queen Alexandra Hospital, has written to Portsmouth MPs Penny Mordaunt and Stephen Morgan.

The 36-year-old, from North End, said: ‘I am infuriated with the government and I think they really need to have a rethink about the pay rise.

‘I am not saying that doctors and dentists don’t deserve it but dentist surgeries were closed during the pandemic except for emergency surgery, and it was the hospital staff that put their lives on the line and continue to do so.

‘I am working on Saturday so I won’t be able to go to the protest but I hope it makes the government listen to us.’

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The GMB Union is also demanding that NHS workers get a pay rise.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said: ‘Many thought this government would play fair and compensate them for the risks and hard work they endured during the height of the pandemic.

‘Instead they feel that they have been kicked in the teeth.’

For information about the Portsmouth march visit facebook.com/events/303760290964149

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