Public urged to display artworks on 1 April in support of a proper NHS pay rise.

First published in March 2021.

People across the UK are being asked to put colourful posters in their windows in support of a proper NHS pay rise, in a campaign launched on Friday by fourteen unions representing more than a million health workers – British Association of Occupational Therapists, British Dietetic Association, British and Irish Orthoptic Society, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, College of Podiatry, Federation of Clinical Scientists, GMB, Managers in Partnership, Prison Officers Association, Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Nursing, Society of Radiographers, UNISON and Unite.

The event in support of the NHS takes place on Thursday 1 April. The public are encouraged to make their posters as colourful as possible and display them where they can be clearly seen by passers-by.

The unions say this will show the public strength of feeling on the day NHS staff should have received a wage increase and be a welcome ‘thank you’ for all their tireless efforts over the past year to keep everyone safe.

Delays mean health workers – including cleaners, porters, physiotherapists, 999 call handlers, nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants – must now wait until later in the year for the wage rise they are due. To make matters worse, say unions, the government has proposed a rise of just 1%.

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Everyone can join the NHS ‘thank you’ with an eye-catching window show. The brighter the better to bring cheer to everyone’s street and to those giving their all on the front line.

“The public have shown they genuinely value health workers. But ministers have put on a false front with praise one minute and a meagre 1% the next.

“Ministers must display more imagination and heart. The Scottish government’s already shown if the will is there, the money can be found.”

Health workers are currently in the final year of a three-year deal. They are due a pay rise on 1 April. The pay review body is due to make its recommendation later in the year. The Prime Minister has told MPs to wait for the pay review body report and that the government won’t make a decision on pay until then.

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Royal College of Nursing chief executive and general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “Last year the public put rainbow pictures in their windows to say thank you to NHS staff for their amazing work during the pandemic.

Now we’re urging them to put posters up again, this time to help ensure those staff are rewarded properly for their skill, dedication and professionalism.

“Nursing staff are disgusted with the government’s 1% pay proposal. The public is with us. The government needs to listen.”

Royal College of Midwives chief executive and general secretary Gill Walton said: “We’re a week away from 1 April, when NHS staff should have received a pay rise. But we’re still fighting for what the government should have already given – a significant pay rise.

The public are with NHS staff and their continued support is much appreciated. NHS staff have battled the pandemic in unbelievably tough conditions.

“They just want a decent pay rise. Scotland’s proved a significant, backdated offer is affordable. All the UK’s NHS workers deserve a proper wage increase.” 

PMP News reporting.


[This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 30 March 2021. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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