A PETITION calling on the government to “Scrap the Cap” has gained almost 35,000 signatures as NHS pay restraint sees health workers struggling to get by.
Nurses warned that health workers may be forced into taking “strong action” if the government refuse to listen to their concerns about working conditions.
A Unison survey of 21,000 members released yesterday revealed that NHS workers are turning to loan sharks and pawning their belongings as years of pay restraint has left them struggling to make ends meet.
People’s Assembly activist and student nurse Danielle Tiplady slammed the treatment of staff as “a disgrace.”
“Welcome to Tory Britain where NHS staff are relying on foodbanks. They should be ashamed of themselves,” she said.
Ms Tiplady urged people to “take part in campaigning” to defend the NHS as health workers have seen their pay cut by 14 per cent in real terms.
Unison national head of health Christina McAnea demanded action from the government, “starting with a clear strategy for improving pay before the situation deteriorates even further.”
Health unions have called for a pay rise which reflects the cost of living in their submission to the NHS Pay Review Body.
A Department of Health spokesman said: “The dedication and sheer hard work of our NHS staff is absolutely crucial to delivering world-class care for patients.
“The government has had to take difficult decisions over the public finances, but we will continue to fund public sector pay awards, including for NHS staff, at an average of 1 per cent next year.”