Portsmouth Trade Union Council calls for pay rise for NHS and health workers

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BOSSES at a trade union council are calling for a pay rise for NHS and care staff ‘who have put their lives on the line’ during the coronavirus pandemic.

Portsmouth Trade Union Council want a 15 per cent pay increase for health workers this year to recognise their contribution in the Covid-19 outbreak as well as their dedication to their jobs every day.

It comes after a protest last month in Portsmouth by NHS workers to demand a pay rise after missing out on a salary boost for the public sector from the government.

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Chairman Jon Woods said: ‘Health workers across the country, including Portsmouth, have taken to the streets to protest at being left out of the government’s recent announcement on public sector pay rises.

NHS health workers pictured protesting in Portsmouth over unfair pay. Photo: Tom CotterillNHS health workers pictured protesting in Portsmouth over unfair pay. Photo: Tom Cotterill
NHS health workers pictured protesting in Portsmouth over unfair pay. Photo: Tom Cotterill
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‘They were clapped and then slapped. The trade union movement must back the campaign for a 15 per cent pay increase for all health workers. They continue to put their lives on the line for us all and their pay must reflect the sacrifices they have made.’

Organiser Naomi Singh, a healthcare assistant from Portsmouth, said: ‘It’s not acceptable. We go through so much, we care and do what we do because we care.

‘We feel we have been overlooked and forgotten about.’

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The current pay deal is due to run until April 2021 but the trade union wants workers to get an increase from December this year, a reinstatement of annual increments and the government to acknowledge the race pay gap by having a person of colour on all interview panels by the end of the year.

Mr Woods added: ‘With inflation taken into account, many are 20 per cent worse off in real terms now than they were a decade ago.

‘As a result many healthcare workers are struggling to make ends meet and professions such as nursing are suffering problems in recruitment and retention leading to risks to patient safety.

‘The current pay deal, due to run until 2021 does not reverse this trend.’

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The trade union has also told The News it will support NHS workers if they decide to take industrial action and give official backing to all local socially distanced protests.

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