Health workers will stage Budget day protests today against the government’s “insulting” pay offer.
Demonstrations are expected in Westminster and Bristol, amid continuing anger over the coalition’s decision not to accept recommendations from a pay review body.
Around half of NHS workers in England and Wales will have to rely on their annual incremental increase for a pay rise this year.
“We do expect the government to implement the review body recommendations”
Rehana Azam, national officer of the GMB, said: “In the last Budget the chancellor announced that NHS workers would receive a pay rise, but health secretary Jeremy Hunt has decided to take an axe to the NHS pay review body recommendations.
“It comes to something when the chancellor says one thing and government departments do another,” she said.
“[The ] GMB is not interested in the differences between the chancellor and secretary of state for health, but we do expect the government to implement the review body recommendations.
She added: “If it’s fair for the MPs’ pay review body recommendations to be accepted by the government, why can’t the same principle apply to hardworking NHS workers?”
Health workers and activists, organised by Unite, will be protesting outside Bristol Royal Infirmary.
“This is another kick in the teeth for our NHS members “
Unite regional officer Ken Fish said: “It is an insult that Jeremy Hunt did not accept the recommendation of the independent pay review body for a 1% pay rise for all workers.
“This is another kick in the teeth for our NHS members who are already dealing with additional work pressures, such as working unpaid longer hours, increased workloads, and local attacks on their terms and conditions.
“These attacks on the NHS, which we believe are part of the softening-up process to privatise large swathes of the health service, will have a detrimental impact on long-term patient care.”
Chancellor George Osborne is due to deliver this year’s Budget statement in the House of Commons from around 12.30pm today.