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TENS of thousands of NHS workers and campaigners will mobilise across Britain on Saturday to demand a pay rise for all health workers following Tory treachery.
More than 70 events are planned. Some will take place online, but many will be on the streets, with organisers planning socially distanced actions.
The protests are backed by 13 health service unions and nationwide campaign groups including the Keep Our NHS Public campaign.
From Brighton to Birmingham, Ipswich to Inverness, and Hastings to Hull, protesters will rally and demonstrate in support of the NHS and its staff.
Anger is mounting because NHS and care workers were refused a pay rise when Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently announced a three per cent increase for other public-sector workers — despite more than 500 NHS and social care staff dying from Covid-19.
On top of that, the government’s blatant pre-election lie that the NHS would not be included in trade talks with the United States was exposed when Tory MPs voted in the Commons to do just that, opening the service up to bids by private US providers.
Catherine Taylor, a nurse in Norwich with 23 years’ experience, said that the refusal of a pay rise was “it was like a kick in the teeth.”
She said: “They gave us a badge or a mug to say thank you, it’s not enough when you are struggling to pay your bills.”
The union Unite is backing Saturday’s protests, which include a rally in London starting at 11.00am at St. James Park, and marching to Downing Street and a rally at Parliament Square.
Unite national officer for health Jackie Williams said: “Nursing staff and other allied health professionals have reacted with anger to being overlooked when pay rises were given to many in the public sector last month and the government not hearing the health trade unions’ call to bring their pay rise forward from April 2021.
“In a decade of Tory austerity, NHS staff has seen their pay cut by 20 per cent in real terms — and no amount of Thursday evening clapping and warm ministerial words can compensate for this dramatic loss in income.”
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