During the Green Party’s spring conference, a motion passed to back calls for a 15% pay rise for NHS workers following the Government’s derisory proposal for a miserly 1% increase.
The emergency motion sets out how the 1% pay rise, which would mean a rise of just £3.50 a week for nurses, provides no recognition of the work undertaken by those in the health and care sector throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
The motion commits the party to support the demands of the grassroots NHS Workers Say No to Public Sector Pay Inequality and Nurses United campaigns, including a restorative 15% pay rise for health and care workers on Agenda for Change contracts and for outsourced services in the NHS to be brought back in house.
The party will also support the ongoing Moving Forwards on NHS Pay campaign, led by 14 trade unions representing more than 1.3 million members, to secure a fair pay rise for health and care workers.
Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley said:
“The Government’s proposal for a 1% pay rise for NHS workers makes the badges, clapping and warm words look like empty gestures and rhetoric. It is an insult to the nurses and other NHS staff who have risked their lives over the past year in order to protect us all and care for those who have needed it.
“This pandemic’s legacy must be a complete reassessment of who and what we value as a society, and that means recognising through their wages the importance of all those on who we depend for our welfare and wellbeing.
“We also need to remember the needs of our care workers, the unsung heroes of the pandemic. We believe care should be fully integrated into the NHS: this would offer our care workers the protection of a proper pay negotiations.”
The emergency motion was proposed by Rebecca Mulvaney, a Green Party candidate for this year’s local elections in Sheffield.
“Since 2010, successive governments have imposed a public sector pay freeze that has led to a real terms reduction in pay of around 15%.
“A 15% pay rise for health service staff would right the wrongs of austerity and reverse the pay erosion and pay poverty that has blighted the past decade of incomes for some of our most committed and dedicated NHS workers.
“I am delighted that conference backed this motion, thank you to everyone who supported it, and to the Green Party Trade Union Group for their support.”