Success: Striking Healthcare Workers Receive Well-Deserved Pay Increase

Target: Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom

Goal: Celebrate the victory of striking healthcare workers in the UK.

Downing Street has finally acceded to the demands of striking National Health Service (NHS) workers, putting up an additional £4 billion on the table in a new pay deal. The deal not only consists of a one-off payment for the financial year 2022/23 (£ 2.7 billion) but also a consolidated hike for 2023/24 (£1.3 billion). It is a major breakthrough after the government had initially outright refused to negotiate payment with NHS staff when the strikes began. The ForceChange community took notice of this serious issue and sent this petition letter to the UK Health Secretary. Striking unions took to the streets, defying the no-compromise stance of the authorities.

Union members organized the biggest strike in the 75-year history of the NHS. The movement was mainly coordinated by the unified action of four worker unions, RCN, GMB, Unite, and Unison. After months of relentless industrial action, the health department has finally found its reasons to end the stalemate. Pat Cullen, RCN general secretary, stated that “the Government was forced into these negotiations and to reopen the pay award as a result of historic pressure from nursing staff.” GMB national secretary Rachel Harrison said that it’s a proud moment for GMB members as they have finally “faced down the Department of Health.” Sara Gorton, Unison’s head of health stated that “it’s a shame it took so long to get here.”

The offer includes a total 6% non-consolidated pay hike in 2022/23, arranged as a 2% one-off payment of the salary along with a COVID recovery bonus of 4%. In addition, it promises a consolidated 5% increase in pay for 2023/24. The offer applies to all frontline NHS workers including nurses, paramedics, physiotherapists, and other non-medical staff but excludes junior doctors. Steve Barclay, the Secretary of Health, stated that he hugely admires the “incredible work of NHS staff, especially during the pandemic.” The offer will now be put up for a vote among union members, and strikes have been temporarily paused until a final decision is reached. RCN, GMB, and Unison have recommended that members accept the offer. However, Unite has said that it is not good enough.

The nurses’ strikes are a first in the 75-year history of the NHS. Sign this petition to appreciate the unforeseen solidarity shown by NHS workers, resulting in a breakthrough deal.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Barclay,

The Health Department has come up with a new pay offer responding to the demands of the striking unions of the NHS. The offer consists of a 6% one-off payment for the financial year 2022/23 and a 5% consolidated pay hike for 2023/24. It is a major development considering the fact that the government refused to discuss pay when the strikes began.

The offer is currently on the table and up for a vote among union members. You have also expressed your huge admiration for the incredible work of NHS staff, especially during the pandemic.

We appreciate that Downing Street has finally agreed to negotiate.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Luke Jones


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