DISENCHANTED workers at Epsom’s St Helier Hospital gathered today to demand a fair pay deal.
GMB union members met outside the hospital during their lunch hours to drive home the message that the pay proposal by former health secretary Jeremy Hunt “has not lived up to the hype.”
Regional organiser Helen O’Connor said it was clear from the protest that staff are “underwhelmed and angry” over a deal that falls short of what had been promised by the government.
“People feel betrayed by the deal, having opened their pay packets and now realising how bad the offer really is,” she told the Star.
The majority of unions representing NHS staff, except for GMB, initially supported the deal.
Ms O’Connor said: “We are having more nurses join the GMB as we were the only union that advised against voting in favour of the proposal. GMB gave the right advice and the staff want a union that will actually fight for their rights.
“There are many issues in the NHS apart from pay, such as understaffing. If trade unions do not start organising properly to protect the service, we won’t have a NHS after the cuts.”
Coming after years of pay freezes and real-terms cuts, the deal claimed to provide an immediate £2,000 increase for lower-paid NHS staff to take their earnings above the living wage and a three per cent pay rise was also promised.
Now staff are discovering that only those at the top of their pay band will receive this. The rest will receive an average increase of about 1.5 per cent.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.