Rumoured two-year pay freeze would be ‘a slap in the face’ for healthcare workers

A poll conducted by YouGov shows that 77% of people support a 10% pay increase for healthcare workers.

Matt Bodell
13 May 2020
Nurse in PPE

Healthcare professionals are already some of the lowest-paid graduate workers.

A rumoured two-year pay freeze would be “a slap in the face” for nurses and key workers who have kept the country running during the COVID-19 pandemic, unions have said.

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The Daily Telegraph published extracts from a leaked Treasury document that outlines plans for the government to recoup the £300bn COVID-19 bill.

Suggestions included an increase in income tax, the end of the triple lock on state pension increases, and a two-year public sector pay freeze.

Public sector workers have already experienced a significant real-terms pay cut over the past ten years.

Earlier this week a poll conducted by YouGov shows that 77% of people support a 10% pay increase for healthcare workers.

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Yesterday nurses gather outside Downing Street on International Nurses Day calling for a pay rise.

A slap in the face.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “It’s appalling that anyone in the Government is even contemplating freezing public sector pay. The public will be horrified by these cheap tactics.

“Throughout the lockdown, NHS, care, council, police and school staff have kept services running, saving lives, caring for the vulnerable and ensuring our communities are safe.

“Public service workers deserve proper recognition for these efforts and the Government should work with unions and employers to agree a handsome pay rise. Anything less would be a slap in the face to all of those we applaud each week.”

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Anthony Johnson, Lead Organiser for grassroots group Nurses United UK, added; “We can all agree that we wouldn’t have got through this without the hard work of workers on the frontline.

“Last year Amazon paid £220 million in tax, out of a UK revenue of over £10 billion. 8 out of 10 biggest tax havens in the world are in British territories.

“This government needs to decide who they work for, the British public or their donors?”

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