Most people believe the Government should find money to give NHS workers in England a decent pay rise, new research suggests.
A survey of 2,000 adults by the UK’s 14 health unions showed that public support remains strong for a proper wage rise for health staff following controversy over the Government’s recommendation of a 1% increase.
Almost two thirds of respondents said an increase of 1% for NHS workers in England was too low.
A similar number said they would support the Government making additional resources available for a pay rise for NHS staff.
The unions pointed out that more than one million NHS workers are still waiting for a pay rise which was due on April 1.
A recommendation from the NHS Pay Review Body will be made in the coming weeks.
Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “NHS workers should have been looking forward to extra money in their pockets this month, but instead they’re still waiting.
“It’s clear public support for a proper rise is as high as ever. The Prime Minister must do the right thing by trying harder to find the money for the increase staff deserve.”
Royal College of Nursing acting general secretary Pat Cullen said: “This polling is more evidence of the strong public support for a decent pay rise for health and care staff who are still going over and above during this worldwide pandemic.
“If politicians ignore NHS workers and the public, it’s inevitable more nurses will leave the profession – with patients and the wider public suffering as a result.
“The public will hold the Government to account for the failure to address the pay crisis and the tens of thousands of vacancies.”
Royal College of Midwives general secretary Gill Walton said: “NHS staff work selflessly around the clock to ensure safe care, often working unpaid hours. The Government must recognise that, and reverse years of pay stagnation meaning most staff are worse off now than they were a decade ago.
“If the Government wants to retain NHS staff and recruit more, it must really value them. Better pay is affordable and has public support. I urge the Government to show it cares for and values them by awarding a decent deal.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We recognise the pressure this pandemic has put on all health and social care staff who continue to work tirelessly on the frontline, saving lives and caring for our most vulnerable.
“Over one million NHS staff have benefited from multi-year pay deals agreed with trade unions, which have delivered a pay rise of over 12% for newly-qualified nurses and will increase junior doctors’ pay scales by 8.2%.
“Pay rises in the rest of the public sector are being paused this year due to the challenging economic environment, but we will be continuing to provide pay rises for NHS workers. We have asked the independent pay review bodies for their recommendations and will consider these carefully when we receive them.”