Is a 1pc pay rise for NHS staff fair? Readers have their say
- Credit: PA
The government is facing a "backlash" over a proposed 1% pay rise for NHS staff in England next year.
Healthcare staff in Norfolk feel "used" and "bitterly disappointed" by the recommendation the health department has made in a submission to the independent panel that advises on NHS salaries.
Health unions called the move a "kick in the teeth", but ministers defended the proposal at a time when the economy was under "huge pressure" as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Royal College of Nursing has set up a £35m fund to prepare for possible strike action over what it said was a "pitiful" rise, adding that nurses should be getting 12.5% more.
It has prompted heated discussion with almost 1,000 comments offering mixed views submitted to a debate on the issue on this newspaper's Facebook page.
Here is a selection of what our readers had to say.
Sean Byrne said: “Well I guess the government feels that they did get a clap from everyone in the evenings. That's how important the NHS staff really are.”
Madelaine Helen Chappell added: “Absolutely diabolical, they deserve so much more. Where would we be without them?”
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Graham Jefferies said: “My salary disappeared completely due to the government reaction to Covid. But I still think this is insulting and a kick in the teeth considering what the NHS staff have had to go through.”
But Claire Thompson said: “Agreed it's not a lot, but the majority of care staff who do a similar frontline job won't get an increase at all. My team has had two 1% rises in 10 years.
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“I agree it could be more but the 12.5% that the union wants is unachievable and unaffordable.”
Edwin Williams pointed out many other public sector workers faced pay freezes.
“What about council workers who sorted out all those track and trace payments and people’s benefits during lockdown they have not had a pay rise in years,” he stated. “So sorry but it's lucky you're getting one percent.”
And Keith Barr added: “It would be nice to reward them but we are all going through Covid. Many have lost their jobs, their businesses, their livelihoods - people do not know how they are going to pay the rent next month, or need to go to foodbanks to feed their kids.”