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Boris Johnson with a healthcare worker. Photo: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street /Flickr / cropped from original / licensed under CC 2.0, links at the bottom of article

Boris Johnson with a healthcare worker. Photo: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street /Flickr / cropped from original / licensed under CC 2.0, links at the bottom of article

NHS Staff Voices launches its first newletter demanding pay justice for all NHS staff across all disciplines and carers, writes Alia Butt

The attack on the NHS by the Tory government began long before the Covid-19 pandemic showed just how important it is, and just how undervalued health and social care workers are. During the pandemic, the government denied NHS workers on the frontline proper PPE and failed to implement the measures needed to stop the spread of the virus throughout the wider population.

If this wasn’t enough damning evidence of how health and care workers have been systematically and repeatedly failed by the government then look no further than the pretend public sector pay rise suggested by the government in July. The sham pay rise that has a) been taken out of existing departmental budgets (and therefore taken from resources and patients) and b) deliberately leaves out whole swathes of health and care workers, should enlighten those who were previously in doubt.

However, one huge positive about this increasingly uncertain time, is that it has encouraged workers everywhere to get more organised - and that very much includes our powerful NHS staff - who will no more take this beating lying down. Three months of lockdown showed both just how essential health and care workers are but also just how much public support there is for them.

On 18 July, for the first time, health workers across disciplines and from all over the country got together for the NHS Staff Voices conference and began thinking collectively about the strategy to fight back, for each other and for the NHS.

NHS Staff Voices newsletter

The NSV (NHS Staff Voices) newsletter was launched earlier this week and includes stories from staff all over the country with our first issue centring around nurses.

On 28 July hundreds of health workers descended on Downing Street to demand pay justice. This weekend health workers, campaigners and supporters of the NHS are protesting across the country to make their demands clear. You can print out and circulate the newsletter with your colleagues and distribute it in your workplaces. NHS staff are getting organised.

Next NHS Staff Voices organising meeting: 6:30, 8 September.

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