At Nurses United’s request, I just wrote to the Health Secretary, Savid Javid MP, telling him to pay NHS frontline staff properly, restoring their pay to its 2010 level – before George Osborne’s austerity nonsense kicked in under the Tory/Lib Dem coalition government.
Can you join me and write a letter? Here is where to do it: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/send-a-message-to-sajid-javid-mp
This is what I said:
Dear Mr Javid,
I’m writing to you as a member of the public asking you to give a proper pay rise to NHS workers who have put their and their families’ lives and wellbeing at risk by working tirelessly during the pandemic.
The current 3% offer is ridiculous and economically illiterate. Since 2010, NHS frontline staff have received a 20% real-terms pay cut, and our NHS now has over 100,000 vacancies.
This puts at risk both patient and staff safety in the NHS. More frontline staff will leave if they can’t afford to live decently with what will still amount to a 17% pay cut compared to 2010. This will seal the collapse of the NHS, already in the most dire straits.
There is no need for this meanness. The UK is the 6th richest country in the world and it issues its own currency. The Bank of England creates new money to be spent into existence. The NHS has a multiplier effect of around x3, so additional public money spent on the NHS will be recovered via additional tax paid.
This means that we can afford to pay NHS front line staff enough to restore their pay to 2010 levels. The only reason not to do this, is ideological – the Tory commitment to increasing the wealth of the rich and immiserating and impoverishing the rest of us.
This is why I am writing to you, as the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to ask you to give NHS workers a restorative pay rise. As the Health Secretary, you must understand the how important this is in terms of staff recruitment, retention, wellbeing and patient safety.
Surely you can agree that a restorative pay rise is sorely needed to deliver your government’s “levelling up” agenda? An effective “levelling up” programme will save the NHS money, because it’s well known that poverty is a key social determinant of poor health and drives people’s need for increased use of the NHS and social care services.
More info about the austerity myth
Calderdale and Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS (and its forerunner campaign group Save Calderdale Royal Hospital) have been campaigning for adequate public funding for the NHS since 2014. You can find out more here: