South West nurse takes wheelbarrow of coins to Downing Street in pay rise protest

A nurse from the South West who was left “devastated” by a proposed one per cent pay rise for NHS staff has staged a wheelbarrow protest outside Downing Street.

The nurse, called Barbara, filled a wheelbarrow full of coins to represent the extra £3.50-a-week staff will get under the plans.

Many are unhappy with the proposals, suggesting the pay rise does not go far enough to support nurses who have worked tirelessly during the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Demoralised, devastated and heartbroken’

Barbara said the one per cent pay rise feels like a “slap in the face”.

Barbara pictured with her wheelbarrow full of coins.

Speaking just after completing her wheelbarrow protest in London, she said: “The one per cent pay rise Boris Johnson has offered NHS workers is just a real slap in the face for everyone who - over the past 14 months - has shed blood, sweat and tears and sacrificed everything in the fight against this pandemic.

“To be offered £3.50 a week as a pay rise for all that we’ve done just isn’t enough.

“I think the Government needs to look again at the pay rise they’re going to offer NHS workers.”

The Royal College of Nursing has called for a 12.5 per cent raise and said one per cent would equate to an extra £3.50 for staff. 

The Royal College of Nursing says the one per cent pay rise will work out at roughly an extra £3.50 a week.

Other unions have claimed the salary increase is actually a pay cut as they forecast inflation to be at 1.5 per cent this year.

Barbara added: “I think all NHS nurses feel the same. I just felt completely demoralised, devastated and heartbroken.

“Boris Johnson has experienced first-hand just how incredible and invaluable the NHS is and yet it’s the staff and workers within it which give it its value.

“I think it’s time that we were given a fair pay rise to reflect all that we’ve done over the past 14 months.”

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