Glenn Turp, Regional Director, Royal College of Nursing, and Lee Ranyard, a district nurse in North Tyneside, talk to ITV Tyne Tees about their concerns over pay in the NHS.
Nurses in the North East have been demonstrating outside Newcastle's Freeman Hospital in a long-running dispute over pay.
An independent body recommended a 1% pay rise for all NHS staff.
But the government has decided not to award it to those who are already receiving an increase through career progression.
The government says it's all the country can afford, without risking frontline jobs.
One hundred volunteers have joined hands on Gateshead Millennium Bridge today to mark 30 years of Volunteers’ Week.
It was organised by Volunteer Centres in Gateshead and Newcastle to celebrate people on both sides of the river who give their time to help in their communities.
NHS workers are the country's "greatest asset", but the government cannot afford to pay them more without putting frontline jobs at risk, according to the Department of Health.
An independent pay review recommended a 1% pay rise for all NHS staff in 2014, but the government decided not to award it to those who were already receiving an increase because of progression in their careers.
NHS staff are our greatest asset. That's why at a time of severe funding restraint we have been clear that they should receive at least one per cent additional pay this year and next.
We cannot afford a general pay rise on top of incremental pay increases of up to six per cent without risking frontline jobs and safe staffing levels.
We are disappointed that the unions rejected our offer to discuss any alternative proposals on pay, within an available budget of nearly £1 billion. However, our door remains open if they wish to reconsider their position."
Lee Ranyard, a district nurse from North Tyneside, said his colleagues feel "deflated and demoralised" over the government's decision to withhold a recommended 1% pay rise from some NHS staff.
He said: "No one goes into nursing to get rich... but this is just a kick in the teeth."
Nurses from across the North East of England demonstrated outside the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle as part of a long-running dispute over their pay.
An independent pay review body recommended a 1% pay rise for all NHS staff but the government decided not to award it to workers who were already receiving an increase because of progression in their careers.
The Department for Health said that was all the country could afford, without risking jobs.
Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) are expected to stage a protest outside the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle this morning against pay and working conditions.
The RCN claims the Government have failed to honour a commitment to give nursing staff a 1% pay rise this year.
The protest is expected to start around 8:30am.
The trust which runs two of our major hospitals says it needs to save £30 million in the coming year, or face being ranked unsatisfactory.Read the full story ›
The Trust which runs two of the region's major hospitals says it will have to save up to £30 million in the coming year.
The South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, as well as a number of smaller community hospitals.
If the Trust does not cut costs, it could be ranked as 'unsatisfactory' by the health regulator, Monitor. This would then threaten the long-term viability of the organisation.
Critics are concerned about where savings will be made.
Joanna Adams, who's organising a march from Jarrow to London in protest at how the NHS is run, says she felt it was time to act. The three week march, inspired by the Jarrow jobs crusade of the 1930s, is set to begin in August.
The organiser of the 2014 Jarrow March, in protest against how the NHS is run, says the government will have to listen to them when they arrive in London. Joanna Adams refutes the Department for Health's claim that it's committed to retaining the founding principles of the service.