THE one per-cent pay rise offer for nurses who fought on the frontline during the Covid-19 battle has been branded ‘an insult’ and could pose the risk of further industrial action.
Health unions have responded with ‘dismay and anger’ at the news that the UK government is only prepared to fund a pay uplift of one percent for health workers.
A joint statement issued by the Royal College of Nurses (RCN), Unison, Nipsa and Unite unions said members would be ‘outraged’ and the ‘government position cannot stand and must be challenged.’
The Government has said the one percent offer represents what is ‘affordable’ due to the ongoing struggle due to the Covid19 pandemic.
RCN has called for its members to get a 12.5 percent increase, and director, Pat Cullen, said the union would await the outcome of a pay review before considering its next steps in the North.
Andy McKane from Unison said the offer is a ‘slap in the teeth’ and there is ‘widespread disgust among local nurses at the pitiful insult of one percent’.
Mr McKane addded that nurses do not want to be out striking or taking part in industrial action, but the offer could force their hand.
He said, “To say the one per-cent pay offer is an insult is an understatement.
“This time last year the whole country was clapping the NHS and this year a slap in the teeth is what we have got.
“A year that has saw the staff work under pressure like never before.
“Staff have worked thousands of hours in full PPE, short staffed and experienced unimaginable pressure and trauma as a result of caring for our public through this terrible pandemic.
“There is widespread disgust at this pitiful insult of one percent.
“It is a major case of eaten bread is soon forgotten.
“Staff are exhausted and feel totally unappreciated and I can sense a quiet anger amongst staff who have given their all.
“We took industrial action before and we can again is what many are saying.”
“Nurses care for others that is what we do, but it would seem there is little care given in return.