GMB, the union for health and social care workers, has joined other health trade unions in calling on the Government to adopt a blueprint for returning the NHS to ‘normal work’.
Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer, said:
“Our health service was already operating under huge pressures prior to the covid-19 outbreak, with 100,000 staffing vacancies.
“The stress on NHS staff have never been so high, as they continue to go to work, putting their lives on the line as our key worker heroes, despite a decade of pay freezes and cuts and despite the NHS being at breaking point thanks to a decade of austerity.
“Workers have been left on the frontline dealing with the pandemic with no PPE or regular access to testing.
“As the Government starts to ‘re-open’ non-coronavirus related services in the NHS, GMB is calling on the Government to seriously commit to all of the demands in the blueprint.
“This includes workers being paid correctly for all the hours they work, as many NHS staff have been left to work additional hours unpaid or at lower rates of pay throughout the crisis.
“Workers need access to testing, in a regular and consistent manner, and their trade union reps need to be involved in all discussions regarding redeployment and returning to work for the vulnerable.
“NHS staff have entered year three of the pay award which GMB members rejected – because in real terms it was a pay cut for many.
“As we start to now consider pay talks for next year, GMB is calling on the Government to do more than just clap for our carers every Thursday night, remember the efforts made by NHS workers during this crisis, and repair the last ten years of cuts.”