Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 16 September 2020

NHS workers say: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

Saturday 12 September demo in Bristol in solidarity with NHS & care workers demanding increased pay, photo Mike Luff

Saturday 12 September demo in Bristol in solidarity with NHS & care workers demanding increased pay, photo Mike Luff   (Click to enlarge)

Kirsty Brewerton, an NHS clinical sister and activist in the 'NHS Say No' campaign, spoke about their fight for a 15% pay rise at the National Shop Stewards Network rally before the Trade Union Congress on 13 September.

Our campaign grew through years of frustration with politicians only using us and our profession to win votes and their promises as hollow as their Thursday claps. When it was announced that most nurses were not included in the latest public sector pay increases, they lit the torch. And an uprising like I've not seen in my nursing career erupted - a reaction to the constant hammering from this Tory government.

What began as a Facebook group of incensed members has become a group of 85,000 members. We've marched and protested and the message is the same - 15% pay increase for all NHS workers.

The response from Matt Hancock and the government is to remind us of this scam they call a three-year pay deal. Which we should all apparently be grateful for. The manipulation of maths by this Tory government is astounding - always skewed to paint a picture to fit their rhetoric.

However, they are trying to manipulate the wrong workforce. We're pretty good at numbers. If we fiddled the maths like they do, our patients would pay the price. We are left disputing those in power regarding this supposed pay deal and it's been eye-opening to see this blatant manipulation of facts.

The pay deal was skewed to be beneficial to newly qualified staff, those more experienced hardly felt an increase at all. This year it will be just 1.7% for most staff which is a long way off 15%. And it's nowhere near in line with inflation.

Hancock conveniently left out that ministers have awarded themselves an eighth pay rise in a decade of austerity. And their Covid bonus of 10,000, plus thousands in expenses.

Following the pressure from NHS Say No, the unions have begun to align their campaigns. GMB is now calling for 15%, Unite too, RCN 12.5%, and Unison is asking for 2,000 for each worker. While this is positive, it is not enough. We all need to be singing from the same hymn sheet and working together. This government cannot be given an excuse to manipulate the numbers.

We are so much stronger together. For a long time we felt disempowered, disillusioned and despondent. But we have proved that we do have a voice.

For years the NHS has been desecrated by the Tory government, slowly and slyly picked apart, chronically underfunded and undervalued.

The entire NHS workforce has proven that despite this, when faced with a global pandemic we can adapt and overcome.

Despite their failings, we battled on with inadequate PPE, risking our lives to save others while procurement of essential equipment by corrupt contracts was procured purely through nepotism.

Mates' rates where I'm from usually means you get a bargain rather than wasting billions on non-existent or useless products. Yet there is apparently no money left for a pay rise for NHS workers. The hypocrisy is unreal. Rather than investing in their mates hair-brained schemes - invest in the experts who have been doing the job for years.

Without us there is no NHS. We are already 100,000 members of staff short. For the skills and experience we need - we deserve a fair wage. Claps don't pay the bills and our pay deal is a farce. Stand with us and fight for 15%.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 16 September 2020:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Our lives and livelihoods at stake

Sketch: The rule of six - some guidance from your government

Johnson's brinkmanship over EU deal deepens capitalist splits

Blame politicians, not workers and young people

Capitalist profit and the race to develop a vaccine

'Covid marshalls' must be accountable to communities

Under the microscope


Angry health workers demand 15% now!

NHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

Workplace news and analysis

National Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC

PCS members in DWP reject unsafe extension of hours

Ireland: Debenham's occupier speaks out

London bus drivers begin strike ballot over remote sign-on dispute

Tate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally

Reinstate Tony Smith

Reinstate Richie Venton


Dispatches from the front: schools need Covid tests!

Public services

Covid and the third sector: for public planning, not charity stopgaps

Labour Party

Non-fiction: Left Out - the inside story of Labour under Corbyn

International socialist news and analysis

Egypt: Support for al-Sisi dwindles as his regime increases repression

Nigerian police repress peaceful anti-government protest

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Two weeks to donate: we need your help

Coventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges

Covid generation says 'fund our future'

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Tories and Blairites only care about corporate greed

Selling the Socialist


Home   |   The Socialist 16 September 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleNHS workers

triangleTeignmouth hospital closure threat ... again!

triangleSelling the Socialist: increase in NHS anger

triangleStop NHS meltdown

triangleAs school cases soar - is contact tracing 'near breaking point'?


triangleGreek workers and socialists celebrate convictions of Golden Dawn fascists

triangleAre cooperatives the answer to a failing capitalist system?

triangleStop Royal Mail's profit-driven plans to force postal workers to share vans

triangleUsdaw elections: the battle for a fighting union


triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleWhy the Socialist Party is backing Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

triangle'Firebreak' lockdown fails to protect workers

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Are cooperatives the answer to a failing capitalist system?



Even more delay in stopping school transmission?



Locked down, hard up - Fight back!



Unite votes to cut affiliation fee to Labour


Higher Education

"It's not fair" - lockdown students demand free education



Nottingham Covid surge caused by Tory mismanagement



As school cases soar - is contact tracing 'near breaking point'?



Under the microscope


National Education Union

National Education Union must launch action now



Students not to blame for unsafe uni conditions



Worldwide capitalist crisis deepens



Massive testing 'glitch' caused by privatised fragmentation



Fight for jobs and homes for all - defend the right to asylum



Tories put profit first: Gambling with our jobs and lives



Under the microscope

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020