Delighted that the Bolton News covered International Nurse Day and Helena Bonham Carter’s support for a decent pay rise for NHS staff.

Around 3,000 nurses, midwives, health visitors and health care assistants in Bolton’s combined NHS services are facing a real terms pay cut. NHS services in the Borough include mental health, hospital services and community provision.

The Chancellor’s Budget decided that hard working NHS staff were not even going to get a pay increase that’s in line with the rise in the cost of living. NHS staff trade unions have dismissed the government 1% pay increase as pitiful and bitterly disappointing.

Despite strong lobbying by a large group of organisations and NHS staff trade unions the government is not changing its mind to instead support hard working and dedicated NHS staff with better pay. Almost two thirds of people in the country believe that increasing health workers’ salaries by 1 per cent is too low. A survey of 2,000 British adults found that 62 per cent want a larger pay rise for NHS staff with just 11 per cent saying the proposed increase is generous. It continues to be an insulting government position of a 1 per cent pay rise for hard working NHS staff, many of whom are exhausted after a year of tireless caring for patients during the pandemic.

A decent deal of a higher pay award for NHS staff is fair, necessary and affordable. The government needs to support and value NHS staff, retaining as many experienced staff as possible in the years ahead. A 2.1% pay increase had been promised by the government, and was budgeted for in the NHS - the head of the NHS confirmed this. publicly.

The Conservatives have shamefully broken their promise to NHS staff and are cutting pay. NHS staff deserve a proper pay boost now.

Cllr Sue Haworth, Bolton MBC