Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

14 April 2021

Facebook   Twitter

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

NHS pay: reject Tories' miserly 1% 'offer' - Fight for full 15% rise

Saturday 12 September demo in Bristol in solidarity with NHS & care workers demanding increased pay, photo Mike Luff

Saturday 12 September demo in Bristol in solidarity with NHS & care workers demanding increased pay, photo Mike Luff   (Click to enlarge)

Holly Johnson, Nursing Sister, NHSPAY15 campaigner and organiser

NHS workers in England were meant to receive a pay rise on 1 April, but the whole process has experienced significant delays. We are now expecting the Pay Review Body (PRB) to make its announcement sometime in May or June. Then, the government will announce the final offer - although Chancellor Rishi Sunak has already announced a measly 1% increase, effectively a pay cut.

On 1 April, the grassroots campaign 'NHS Workers Say No!' launched a #stepupstarmer campaign. Over 100 individuals and organisations signed an open letter urging Labour leader Keir Starmer to support an immediate restorative NHS wage increase of 15%, after a decade of real-terms pay cuts.

Instead, Starmer has suggested a 2.1% rise. The Socialist Party signed this letter and has backed the 15% demand all the way.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, many members in the health trade union Unison are angry that its leadership is recommending acceptance of the SNP-led Scottish government's 'generous' 4% offer, when members have been demanding a full 15% increase.

Although the number of Covid hospital patients has reduced significantly, we are playing catch up with waiting lists and dealing with the consequences of delayed care. Staff still haven't had a break or recovered, and feel devalued by the predicted pay offers. Many are considering leaving. Some are dealing with long Covid, such as myself, and unable to work the hours previously contracted to them.

As we wait for the PRB to make its announcement, we continue to build and engage health workers in the outward fight. They are realising that there is a need to organise themselves to ensure that pay is restored in order to raise and maintain staffing levels so that patients can be cared for safely.

The trade unions have been getting ballot-ready and 'NHS Worker Say No!' is working with them to aim for a coordinated strike ballot. The unions' engagement with members is essential in being ready to strike, and we must hold firm and keep the pressure on from below.

As we move into the summer, it is important that we get out on the streets. We have called for a mass demonstration and are working with affiliated groups to make this happen - potentially around the NHS's birthday weekend at the beginning of July. But there is no doubt that we will be out before then too.

We have made it clear that fighting for a meaningful and restorative pay rise is a fight to protect and invest in the future of the NHS. We need the public behind us and to be ready for the inevitable smear campaign against NHS workers if we reject a miserly pay offer from the PRB.

The government is already attempting to deploy a divide-and-rule tactic against workers. Ministers have pointed to a public sector pay freeze as evidence that there is no more money to spare and that demands for more than 1% are unreasonable.

We need to stand firm and smash through the public sector pay freezes all together. Teachers, local government workers, and any essential workers also face attacks on their jobs, wages and conditions.

Instead of allowing the 'race to the bottom', we must unite to demand a decent wage for all. The union leaders need to act decisively. The TUC should be organising and mobilising workers for a public sector-wide strike. We must transform our unions into the fighting organisations we need them to be.

The NHS pay campaign could spearhead the coordinated fight and give confidence to other workers in the public sector.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 14 April 2021:


'Covid passports' discriminatory and questionable - fight for workplace safety

Covid inquiry? Workers must decide


Tensions escalate in Northern Ireland

How to deal with the tax-dodging mega-rich? Nationalise!

NHS pay: reject Tories' miserly 1% 'offer' - Fight for full 15% rise

Amazon - union vote lost

Tory hypocrisy over housing benefit cut

US cops shoot dead another black man


Every voter in Wales has the opportunity to vote for TUSC

TUSC: Launching a working-class electoral alternative in London

London housing crisis: vote TUSC to fight back

Workplace news

PCS elections: Support the Broad Left Network for a democratic, fighting union leadership

St Mungo's maintenance workers on indefinite strike

Thousands of London bus workers strike across multiple companies

Rally for sacked RMT rep Declan

East London cleaners fight outsourcing and redundancies

Bristol Water workers walk out

SPS Technologies workers end strike after management backs down

Thurrock Council workers strike against pay cuts

Deliveroo workers strike and protest

Lessons from history

1920s-30s Britain: A working-class movement fighting unemployment and capitalism

Campaigns news

Youth under attack

Students in action: Protest on 21 April

Why you should join the Socialist Party

Cardiff: Hundreds protest to free Siyanda

Worcester: Kill the Bill

Fighting fund target smashed. Can we do it again?

Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


Home   |   The Socialist 14 April 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleUnite to fight Tory pay insults

trianglePublic sector pay - Prepare for action!

triangleReaders' comments

triangleEveryone can spot Socialist Party in Stoke

triangleScrap the privatising health and care bill


triangleNationality and borders bill

triangleTories and Labour fail on child poverty

triangleTories threaten to axe free prescriptions for older workers

triangleTrade unions must continue the fight for Covid safety


triangleIsrael: Hospital ancillary workers' strike suspended

triangleTower Hamlets Labour backs Tory cuts

triangleBexley bin workers strike for better pay


triangleIn brief: News, reports & analysis from the CWI

triangleFight Freeports to stop bonfire of workers' rights


triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts

Article dated 14 April 2021

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party


Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales


Bulk book orders

New member submission


triangle29 Jul Southampton Socialist Party: Marxist economics

triangle29 Jul East London Socialist Party: Defend a woman's right to choose

triangle29 Jul Cardiff Socialist Party: For a workers' inquiry into the Covid crisis


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1143 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files

'The Struggle for World Socialism' book launch

More videos ...

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version