Unite News Release

For immediate issue: Wednesday 9 November 2022

Seven out of ten people support cost of living pay increase for NHS workers

Poll of 6,000 adults reveals strong public support for fair pay for NHS workers.

Unite preparing strike ballots across more than 60 Trusts.

A Unite poll of over 6,000 adults, conducted by leading pollsters Survation, reveals that 7 in 10 people (73%) support NHS and care workers receiving pay rises that keep up with increases in the cost of living.

The Government’s paltry pay deal for NHS workers is in direct contradiction to the will of the people according to Unite’s latest poll. 

Most NHS workers are receiving a pay rise effective from 1 April 2022, of just £1,400 - worth £27 a week before tax.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “Once again this government is way out of step with public opinion. There is overwhelming support for NHS workers who are about to embark on a major battle for fair pay in the middle of a cost of living catastrophe.

“NHS workers made huge sacrifices during the pandemic, the public haven’t forgotten but Tory ministers conveniently have.”

 “The blame for the funding crisis which is destroying services and leaving workers struggling to make ends meet lies squarely with the government.

Unite members in the NHS across England and Wales are set to join ambulance service members across Scotland and England in voting for action to raise pay and save crumbling services.

The UK’s leading union, Unite, representing some 100,000 NHS workers has announced that it is preparing strike ballots across more than 60 Trusts and Boards across the UK.

 Notices for formal industrial action proceedings will be served by Unite across a host of NHS employers covering NHS services. These include nursing, healthcare science, applied psychology, counselling and psychotherapy, dental professions, audiology, optometry, building trades, estates, craft and maintenance, administration, ICT, support services and ambulance services. In Wales, Unite’s ambulance members will also be balloted (Ambulance workers in England have already begun balloting and Unite’s Scottish Ambulance workers voted for strike action last week).

Unite National officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “It is enormously heartening that the public support the demands of NHS workers for a decent pay rise that meets the rising cost of living. The strike ballots across the NHS are growing and growing because our members don’t just desire a decent pay rise, but want to protect our NHS and deliver better services for patients.”

A vote for strike action will see walk outs in the New Year.


Notes to editors: 

For more information please contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315 

Email: Ci[email protected]

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org 

Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.