Protestors in Ipswich, Suffolk
Hundreds of nurses from across the region have been protesting after being excluded from a backdated pay rise for public sector workers.
On the 21st of July, the Government announced a pay rise to 'reflect the vital contributions public sector workers make to our country'. This includes the following professions:
National Crime Agency
Senior Civil Servants
Senior military Personnel
However, the announcement doesn't include nurses, who are in their final year of a pay deal agreed in 2018. They want their pay rise brought forward and a 15% increase for NHS workers.
One of the socially distanced marches left Christchurch park in Ipswich this morning, 8th August. Protesters there said the pay rise is long overdue.
We've all worked very hard. Everybody in the NHS, we've put our lives at risk. We've lost 540 of our own. We're tired, we're exhausted, we're fed up. It's long overdue.
There were also other marches in Cambridge and Norwich.
At the Norwich 'March For Fair Pay' they also held a minutes silence at 12pm to remember the nurses who lost their lives during the pandemic.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said:
"We are incredibly grateful for the hard work and dedication of all our health and care staff during the pandemic, and we will continue to ensure all staff are rewarded fairly. We are committed to supporting our NHS and everyone working in it, and we recently announced a further £3 billion for the NHS in addition to the record cash funding boost of £33.9 billion extra by 2023/24 we are already providing."
The Agenda for Change deal has delivered year-on-year pay increases for our valued NHS staff, including increasing the starting salary for a newly qualified nurse by over 12%.