Glasgow NHS staff to take part in Pay Up Now campaign protests

NHS staff across Glasgow will take part in socially distanced demonstrations next week as part of their campaign for a pay rise.

UNISON, Scotland’s biggest health union, is organising the protests across Scotland next Tuesday, August 18 which is part of their Pay up Now campaign.

Demonstrations will take place from 11am at five key areas across Glasgow including Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Royal Alexandria Hospital, Inverclyde Royal Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

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The trade union is calling on the Scottish Government to reopen the NHS three year pay deal, and for ministers to sit down with the trade unions to discuss a pay rise for all NHS staff.

Watty Gaffney, communications officer at UNISON, said: “We want to discuss any changes with the Scottish Government and negotiate the rate of pay.

“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic NHS staff have risked their lives and should be paid for their efforts over the last 15-18 weeks.

“We appreciate the general public applauding their efforts every Thursday night, but we feel it is hypocritical for MSPs to be joining in when they are refusing to take part in pay increase conversations.

“Our members voted to discuss the current deal and we do not want to wait until next year when we will be talking about a different arrangement. We have many low paid workers in the NHS.

“UNISON wants equity for them. It is not fair for different groups to get different pay rises and we want to make sure that is addressed.”

NHS staff have had real term pay cuts over the last decade with significant extra costs over this pandemic including extra childcare costs because they are working extra shifts, extra transport costs because of restricted public transport, further costs because they have been isolating from family, or even added laundry costs and buying personal PPE.

Employees have been working long hours and many report being mentally and physically exhausted. It is expected between 20 to 30 people will take part in the demonstration at each site next week.

Mr Gaffney added: “We need to make sure social distancing rules are adhered to and our members are safe.

“We understand many will be working throughout the day so we hope they can join us safely for 15 minutes without putting their colleagues at risk. Stewards and activists will be at each location all day.

“Our NHS deserved to be recognised and shown respect. They shouldn’t be ignored any longer.”