People across the country are being asked to put colourful posters in their windows in support of a proper NHS pay rise, in a campaign launched today (Friday 26 March) by health unions representing more than a million health workers.    

Fourteen unions – including Unite, UNISON and the Royal College of Nursing – are urging households across the UK to show their appreciation for NHS workers with bright, hand-finished displays on Thursday 1 April.    

The unions say this will show the public strength of feeling on the day NHS staff should have received a wage increase and be a welcome 'thank you' for all their tireless efforts over the past year to keep everyone safe.    

Delays mean health workers – including cleaners, porters, physiotherapists, 999 call handlers, nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants – must now wait until later in the year for the wage rise they are due. To make matters worse, say unions, the government has proposed a rise of just 1 per cent.  

Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “We want the public to show their support for NHS workers. They can do this by continuing to write to their MPs and putting posters in their windows to reinforce that they back all efforts to substantially increase the inadequate 1 per cent pay cut offered to NHS workers.

“We hope the Scottish government’s offer to their NHS will force the UK government to change its mind and show it really cares about NHS workers by offering a decent pay rise. 

“The government has shown that it is high on rhetoric praising NHS workers, but low on commitment and will in valuing them. The time has come to deliver on that rhetoric and reward NHS workers for their work now. They should not be made to wait any longer.”

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Everyone can join the NHS ‘thank you’ with an eye-catching window show. The brighter the better to bring cheer to everyone’s street and to those giving their all on the front line.    

“The public have shown they genuinely value health workers. But ministers have put on a false front with praise one minute and a meagre 1 per cent the next. 

“Ministers must display more imagination and heart. The Scottish government’s already shown if the will is there, the money can be found.”
Royal College of Nursing chief executive and general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “Last year the public put rainbow pictures in their windows to say thank you to NHS staff for their amazing work during the pandemic. 

“Now we’re urging them to put posters up again, this time to help ensure those staff are rewarded properly for their skill, dedication and professionalism. 

“Nursing staff are disgusted with the government’s 1 per cent pay proposal. The public is with us. The government needs to listen.” 


Notes to editors:

– The event in support of the NHS takes place on Thursday 1 April. The public are encouraged to make their posters as colourful as possible and display them where they can be clearly seen by passers-by.

– Health workers are currently in the final year of a three-year deal. They’re due a pay rise on Thursday (1 April). The government’s evidence to the NHS pay review body has proposed a 1% pay increase. The pay review body is due to make its recommendation later in the year. The Prime Minister has told MPs to wait for the pay review body report and that the government won’t make a decision on pay until then.  

- The 14 NHS unions are: British Association of Occupational Therapists, British Dietetic Association, British and Irish Orthoptic Society, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, College of Podiatry, Federation of Clinical Scientists, GMB, Managers in Partnership, Prison Officers Association, Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Nursing, Society of Radiographers, UNISON and Unite.