Unions call for window poster campaign to back NHS pay rise

Alan Jones
Friday 26 March 2021 09:48
Rainbow signs painted by students in the window of the DLD College across the road from St Thomas’ Hospital in Central London (Kirsty O'Connor/PA)(PA Archive)

Unions are urging people to put colourful posters in their windows in support of a campaign for a proper pay rise for NHS workers.

Fourteen unions, representing more than one million workers, called on households across the UK to show their appreciation for NHS workers with bright displays on April 1, the day staff are due to have a wage rise.

The increase has been delayed and the Government has sparked anger by recommending a 1% rise in England compared to 4% in Scotland.

Unions say the delay means health workers, including cleaners, porters, physiotherapists, 999 call handlers, nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, must now wait until later in the year for the wage rise they are due.

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Everyone can join the NHS ‘thank you’ with an eye-catching window show.

“The brighter the better to bring cheer to everyone’s street and to those giving their all on the front line.

“The public have shown they genuinely value health workers, but ministers have put on a false front with praise one minute and a meagre 1% the next.

“Ministers must display more imagination and heart.

“The Scottish government has already shown if the will is there, the money can be found.”

People protesting in St Peter’s Square in Manchester, over the proposed 1% pay rise for NHS workers (Jacob King/PA)(PA Wire)

Royal College of Nursing general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “Last year the public put rainbow pictures in their windows to say thank you to NHS staff for their amazing work during the pandemic.

“Now we’re urging them to put posters up again, this time to help ensure those staff are rewarded properly for their skill, dedication and professionalism.

“Nursing staff are disgusted with the Government’s 1% pay proposal.

“The public is with us.

“The Government needs to listen.”

Royal College of Midwives general secretary Gill Walton said: “We’re a week away from April 1, when NHS staff should have received a pay rise, but we’re still fighting for what the Government should have already given – a significant pay rise.

“The public are with NHS staff and their continued support is much appreciated.

“NHS staff have battled the pandemic in unbelievably tough conditions.

“They just want a decent pay rise.

“Scotland has proved a significant, backdated offer is affordable.

“All the UK’s NHS workers deserve a proper wage increase.”