14 health unions call for NHS staff pay rise by Christmas

on 12 November 2020

14 health unions, including the Royal College of Midwives, have written to the UK Government asking for a pay rise for midwives and other NHS staff by Christmas.

The letter to the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson highlights that the second wave of coronavirus (COVID-19) is already placing staff and hospitals under immense strain.

The letter says “Once more NHS staff will be relied upon to protect and care for us all. But health workers are exhausted, with many still recovering from the first virus peak.”

NHS staff are not due to have a pay rise until April 2021, however the unions have highlighted that an early pay rise would help NHS staff “feel valued, by the entire country, and the government too.”

It also highlights that an early pay rise for NHS staff would help change the minds of those who are considering leaving and would attract new members of staff.

RCM Executive Director of External Relations and Policy, Jon Skewes, said: “Midwives, maternity support workers and all our NHS staff do an incredible job day in, day out, 365 days of the year, 24 hours a day.

“And never has that been more apparent, more needed, or more valued than now. There was a compelling case for an early and significant pay rise for NHS staff before the pandemic, and their dedication, commitment and professionalism make that a cast-iron one now.”

Head of Health at UNISON, Sara Gorton, who also chairs the NHS group of 14 unions, adds: “The NHS can’t run without its staff. They all deserve better from porters to nurses.

“Their dedication during the pandemic has been humbling. But no one is super human and many are feeling the strain. Boris Johnson must show he has a heart with a pay rise before Christmas.

“It will boost exhausted staff going into the second wave and help the NHS attract much-needed new recruits.”

Hannah Reed from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said: “The NHS is facing an extremely challenging few months due to the combination of COVID-19 and winter pressures. Without urgent action on pay, vacancies across the NHS will continue to increase.”

The letter to Boris Johnson can be found here.