Posted: Tue 2nd Mar 2021

NHS Wales staff urge the chancellor to ‘do the right thing’ and fund a pay rise

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 2nd, 2021

NHS workers ​in Wales have asked the chancellor to recognise the work they’ve done to protect lives and fund a decent pay rise in Wednesday’s Budget, says UNISON today.

NHS pay in Wales is a devolved issue but Welsh Government could only afford to provide a decent wage rise if it receives additional funding from Westminster.

A substantial NHS England pay rise would provide that equivalent money in the devolved budget to Wales.

More than 60,000 health care assistants, porters, operating theatre staff, nurses, caterers, ambulance staff, cleaners and members of the public across the UK have signed a letter to Rishi Sunak asking him to properly reward NHS staff for their work before and during the pandemic.

Staff want the chancellor to back a pay rise of at least £2,000 for all NHS workers, many of whom have put their health, wellbeing and personal lives on the line since Covid-19 struck.

In the letter, workers challenge the chancellor to step up and do his bit, as they have. They argue a pay rise would show staff they’re valued, provide a much-needed morale boost for burnt-out workers and tip the balance for the thousands on the brink of leaving the NHS, the union adds.

A video accompanying the letter shows staff describing the intense pressure they’ve been under.

A Betsi Cadwaladr healthcare worker said: “I’ve found the last twelve months extremely hard and I’ve really struggled. I’m dedicated to the NHS. We have lost colleagues to Covid, it is terrifying and will take some time to recover from our personal experiences. God help us and I hope the Government invests more in our NHS.”

UNISON Cymru lead officer for health Paul Summers said: “Health workers have been battling the pandemic for a year. That’s a year of incredibly long-hours, heightened anxiety around the safety of family and friends, and fears about catching the virus.

“All while carrying out demanding roles and dealing with the trauma of many thousands of deaths. They’re giving their all to keep us safe.

“Wales Conservative politicians like to say NHS pay is the concern of Welsh Government but there is no way Wales could afford a big boost to healthcare workers’ wages without Westminster providing substantial additional funding. On Wednesday the chancellor can and should give something back to them on behalf of the nation.

“Rishi Sunak must do the right thing and back up words of praise with concrete actions by funding a pay rise of at least £2,000 for all NHS staff.”

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