Health secretary Jeremy Hunt should ‘change the record’ when it comes to calling for continual tough pay restraint for NHS staff, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Friday 5 August).
Jeremy Hunt has written to Jerry Cope, the chair of the independent NHS pay review body (PRB) urging pay restraint in the public sector for the next pay year 2017-2018. (The 2 August letter is currently not available on the Department of Health website for ‘technical reasons’).
Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “It is time that Jeremy Hunt changed the stuck record on the gramophone and signalled that he truly values NHS staff who have seen their real incomes drop by some 15 per cent since the Tories came to power in 2010.
“Dedicated NHS staff have endured a crippling cocktail of pay freezes and one per cent pay rises over the last six years – it appears that Hunt has not changed his tune and wants this straitjacket of harsh pay austerity to continue, perhaps up to 2020.
“The new government has indicated that there may be a loosening of the financial targets so beloved by George Osborne when he was chancellor – if that’s the case, public sector workers should be the beneficiaries of this resetting of the British economy.”
Unite has 100,000 members working in health services.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.