The public remains overwhelmingly in favour of NHS workers being given a 1% pay rise, according to a new poll.
Health staff have been embroiled in a long-running row after the government refused to accept a recommended 1% wage rise for all employees, leading to strike action on 13 October.
A further walkout by union members in England is due on 24 November, with no sign of the deadlock being broken. Unison members in Wales have, however, suspended action planned for today after ministers tabled a new deal.
“The public know what the politicians seem unaware of; that investing in staff is investing in the NHS”
A survey of over 2,000 adults for the Royal College of Midwives, which went on strike for the first time in its history last month, showed that more than four out of five supported a 1% pay rise.
The poll, published ahead of the RCM’s annual conference this week, showed strong support from supporters of all three main political parties.
RCM chief executive Professor Cathy Warwick said: “Our members will be heartened to see these figures and the level of public support for them. The public know what the politicians seem unaware of; that investing in staff is investing in the NHS.
“People also know how dedicated and hard working midwives and other NHS staff are,” she said. “They also know that all NHS staff are asking for is a very modest 1% pay award. Midwives are not asking for banker-style bonuses.
“This 1% would still see their pay lagging significantly behind the rising cost of living. This also comes on the back of two years of pay freezes and way below inflation pay awards,” she added.
“The public are backing this and a large majority of MPs across all parties are backing this. More industrial action is planned but it can be avoided. I repeat my appeal to the government to come back to the negotiating table to discuss this with us,” said Professor Warwick.