UK Covid live news: government's 1% pay increase offer for NHS staff sparks fury

Latest updates: pay offer denounced as ‘pitiful’ by health sector unions, amid warnings it could prompt NHS staff to quit

11.05am GMT

Keir Starmer has described the government’s recommendation of a 1% pay rise for more than a million NHS staff as a “real insult”, adding that they should be “recognised and properly rewarded”.

The Labour leader told reporters:

This is insulting to NHS staff on the front line – they have been on the front line throughout this pandemic.

It is not good enough just to clap them: this is a real insult. They need to be properly recognised and properly rewarded.

10.49am GMT

Unite, a leading union representing tens of thousands of health service staff, has said it will be considering holding an industrial action ballot, after the government decided nurses and other staff will only get a 1% pay rise.

Unite’s national officer for health, Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, told the PA news agency:

Following yesterday’s kick-in-the-teeth announcement that the government wants to peg NHS pay at 1% for 2021-22, Unite will be considering all its options, including the holding of an industrial action ballot, as our pay campaign mounts in the coming weeks.

We will be fully consulting our members on the next steps, given that inflation could be 2% by the end of 2021, so what Prime Minister Boris Johnson is recommending is another pay cut in real terms.

Continue reading… Source: The Guardian: UK Covid live news: government's 1% pay increase offer for NHS staff sparks fury ———