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Health Minister 'too busy' to meet NHS workers and discuss 1% pay 'betrayal'

26 Apr 2021
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Members are furious and let down – and Ms Whately needs to hear them 

Health Minister Helen Whatley is ‘too busy’ to meet NHS workers and discuss how they feel about the Government’s 1% pay recommendation, she had told GMB.

Speaking in a Westminster Hall debate, Ms Whatley said pay was ‘rarely mentioned’ when she spoke to health workers. 

GMB wrote to her inviting her to speak to the tens of thousands of NHS workers the union represents to ask them how they feel about the Government's 1% pay recommendation – which amounts to a real terms pay cut. 

Ms Whatley’s office replied to say she is ‘getting many requests for her time' and is ‘unable to meet at the moment’. 

Ambulance workers, cleaners, porters, catering staff, midwives, nurses and more have risked their lives working with inadequate PPE and a chronic staffing crisis. Our members are furious and let down by this pay betrayal – and Ms Whately needs to hear them.

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer

NHS workers have suffered a decade of real terms pay cuts under the Conservatives – losing out by thousands of pounds a year since 2010. 

GMB’s is demanding a pay rise of 15% or £2 per hour whichever is the greatest to make up for what NHS workers have lost after ten years of real terms pay cuts. 

Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said: 

“The Minister has already shown how out of touch she is in thinking NHS staff aren’t worried about pay. 

“But we gave her the benefit of the doubt and invited her to actually come and speak to health workers so she could hear first-hand. 

“For her to now say she is too busy to speak to the workers she is supposed to be responsible for is frankly disgusting. 

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"How can you pretend to support NHS workers when you won’t even take the time to talk to them and hear their concerns? 

"Ambulance workers, cleaners, porters, catering staff, midwives, nurses and more have risked their lives working with inadequate PPE and a chronic staffing crisis after a decade of budget slashing by the conservatives. 

"Our members are furious and let down by this pay betrayal – and Ms Whately needs to hear them.” 

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