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Public backs 1% rise for NHS staff, suggests new RCM poll


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”

Cathy Warwick

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.

Cathy Warwick

“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.





Readers' comments (2)

  • 11 November 2014, Tuesday

    This 1% pay rise is an insult to all health workers. The rising cost of consumer goods, gas, electricity, petrol, rent, transport fares every year are frustrating and depressing. That earning a wage for your family to live decently is a struggle.

    Why is the current government doing nothing about the price of gas and electricity, petrol, rent control and transport fares? If they would do something about this. Health workers would not be asking for a pay rise.

    This is a typical of cause and effect of all things. The greed, selfishness, dishonesty of MPs and businessmen who are in cahoots, to protect their vested interest and defraud public trust.

    Trade unions need to protect and support their members Pay Rise in line with Inflation.

    The government should Stop permanently the NMC increasing the professional registration fee of nurses and midwifes.
    Decrease executive pay of board members and non members by about 50%.
    Stop NHS Logistics charging 20% for every item requisitioned.
    Decrease the number of top level and middle level management.

    Remember, "We are into this together". Sounds familiar to you?...

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  • Of course the public are in favour of this - it is only 1% after all.

    Time is running short before the next election. After that, there will be one less bargaining point.

    It is good to see the RCM and members starting to gain experience in industrial relations issues. Ever since they stopped having industrial relations officers, their main objective has been appeasement with whichever managers impose unreasonable decisions, causing members to lose money.

    Now that we know many so-called senior NHS managers have taken redundancy pay and started new NHS jobs soon after, we realise frontline clinicians, as well as tax-payers who fund all of this, have been taken for a ride once again.

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