Protest planned demanding 15% pay rise for NHS staff and against privatisation

NHS workers in Leeds will be taking part in a nationwide protest this week.

By Rebecca Marano
Friday, 2nd July 2021, 4:45 pm

People will meet in Millennium Square at 11am on Saturday, July 3 to demand a restorative 15 per cent pay rise.

Organisers say this is in response to NHS workers losing 20 per cent of their pay since 2010.

They added that NHS staff feel "undervalued and overworked" which has led to "understaffed wards and burnt out staff".

NHS staff protesting in Millennium Square in 2020. Photo: Danny Lawson

Therefore, the aim of the restorative pay rise is to recruit and retain staff so wards can be safely staffed.

The protesters will also be protesting against the privatisation of the NHS.

At the demonstration NHS workers will be sharing their experiences and feelings, union representatives will be supporting the demonstrations and other campaign groups such as ‘Leeds Keep Our NHS Public’ and “Leeds Black Lives Matter” will also be joining to contribute.

Katy Heppinstall, nurse in Leeds and Nurses United member said: “Throughout the past 18 months we’ve all seen how essential our NHS and its staff are.

"Whether it was supporting our mental well-being, delivering our first baby or holding your loved one’s hand in their last minute, our NHS workers have always been there, it’s just that now we can all see what happens when we don’t have enough because they’ve been underpaid and cannot stand working in fragmented and privatised services that don’t allow us to care.

"We need a new deal for our NHS that puts patients not profits back in control of our services.

"We all deserve the freedom to be healthy.”

Dr John Puntis, Keep our NHS Public Co-chair said: “NHS and care staff have looked after us all brilliantly during the pandemic despite desperate staff shortages, and sickness in their own ranks including 1500 deaths from coronavirus infection.

"The public was very unhappy when government suggested that a1% pay rise would be adequate recognition for all their efforts.

"On the July 3 we stand with many around the country demanding a substantial pay rise for health and care workers, safe staffing levels and an end to wasteful privatisation.”

Address: Millennium Square, Leeds LS2 3AD

Time: 11am