Video: Nurses protest outside Royal London Hospital over pay freeze

RCN members protest at the Royal London over pay

RCN members protest at the Royal London over pay - Credit: RCN

Nurses staged a mass protest in Whitechapel outside the old Royal London Hospital over being refused a pay rise this year while another demo was being held opposite the Houses of Parliament.

Members of the Royal College of Nursing from all over east London gathered with other NHS trade union members last Thursday to protest at the government blocking their one per cent increase.

“The government is exploiting the nurses’ goodwill and loyalty,” Royal College branch chair Ian Norris claimed. “A paltry one per cent rise for two years offered only to some NHS staff and nothing to the rest is divisive and manipulative.”

Many staff are facing a four-year pay freeze which was “damaging morale and contributing to recruitment difficulties”.

NHS pay has lagged 10 per cent below inflation in the past four years, the Royal College points out.

Its London regional director, Bernell Bussue, said: “Nurses are working longer hours for less reward, while this endless stretching of resources will put patients at risk.”

Salaries are based on recommendations by an independent review body, which this year called for a one per cent increase to all NHS staff following a two-year pay freeze.

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But the government over-ruled the recommendation in March, saying less than half the nurses would be eligible for the increase.

Other protests outside hospitals on Thursday also took place at University College London and St George’s Tooting, with the biggest mass protest at St Thomas’s opposite Parliament.