Leeds reacts to controversial pay rise for NHS staff ahead of slow handclap tonight

The public are being urged to participate in a slow handclap tonight in protest against the one per cent pay rise for NHS staff.
The public are being urged to join in on the slow handclap tonight.The public are being urged to join in on the slow handclap tonight.
The public are being urged to join in on the slow handclap tonight.

Last week the news broke that the government were proposing a one per cent pay rise for NHS workers as a result of their hard work over an extremely difficult year.

Despite Mental Health Minister, Nadine Dorries, claiming the government cannot afford to provide NHS staff with a higher pay rise, social media became flooded with complaints.

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Yorkshire Evening Post readers were quick to criticise the government over the proposal.

"It's not great considering all the stress and the fallen people who have died through their own professional," Sharon Coggon wrote on Facebook. "It's mentally challenging every day and to keep going. Absolutely yes to higher than one per cent!"

The news came after the government had encouraged the 'Clap for our Carers' movement throughout the first lockdown, which saw the public show their appreciation for the NHS and keyworkers by clapping on the streets on a Thursday evening.

"They should be ashamed of themselves," Linda Cox commented. "This is how the government are now saying thank you to all of our NHS workers who put their lives on the front line? Shame on you."

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Sue Kotovs commented: "It is disgusting. The NHS always get the 'we can't afford it right now'. Well this year we should definitely afford it. NHS staff should feel like they are worth their hard work!

"Sorry but again our government have let the NHS staff down. Appalling."

While plenty of Leeds residents were completely against the one per cent pay rise, many were keen to defend it. A majority of the public appreciate the hard work our doctors and nurses have put in during the pandemic, but some are of the opinion that right now is not an appropriate time for a pay rise.

"It's a very difficult balancing act," Adrian Wilson commented. "My heart says give them a huge pay rise because they deserve it, but my head says the country is now broke and we need to save where we can."

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Emma Curtin said: "All NHS staff were aware that they would be called upon in the face of pandemics and global emergencies. It is an expectation of the role, so to expect a pay rise for doing ones job is wrong."

Helen Birch, who has worked for the NHS for 20 years, commented: "A pay rise is not the thing that will make the difference. What would be the most help to me and my colleagues is more staff. Invest in jobs for those who have lost theirs this year."

If you would like to join in the slow handclap tonight then make sure to be on your doorstep at 8pm.