NHS staff to protest in central London on Tuesday 22nd March over pay and conditions
GMB London Region supports grassroots organisation NHS Workers Say No  together with campaigning representatives from new alliance SOS NHS  who on the eve of the Spring Budget, Tuesday 22nd March, will travel around central London calling for better pay and conditions for frontline NHS workers.
NHS staff campaigners represent many NHS staff who widely regard the government’s pay offer of 3% from April as insufficient. Not least because inflation is currently running at 5.5% but because NHS staff pay has not kept pace with inflation for more than a decade. GMB and other representative unions have warned of an exodus of healthcare staff, causing significant problems in an already understaffed NHS says GMB London.
From 11:00 am a campaign bus will travel around Central London to exert public pressure to encourage the government to increase NHS funding. Stopping outside Parliament, NHS campaigners will gather with cross-party MPs who have been invited to show their support.
The campaigning alliance SOS NHS launched a petition  calling for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to commit to additional NHS funding. The petition with over 100,000 signatures will be formally submitted to Downing Street at 3pm.
Tony O’Sullivan, Keep Our NHS Public, Co-Chair says:
“The deliberate underfunding of the NHS each year has caused thousands of avoidable deaths. Exhausted and underpaid staff, facing a further 5% cut in real wage value this year, are dangerously demoralised.”
Holly Turner, GMB London NHS Organiser, Registered Nurse and NHS Workers Say No campaigner said:
“Hardworking NHS Staff have faced over a decade of real-term cuts to their pay and are working in dangerously understaffed and high-risk environments daily. It’s beyond belief that on staff’s rest days they feel forced to campaign and protest to demand proper funding for the NHS to maintain safety for themselves, their patients and each other. This event, on the eve of the Spring Budget, is set to be a high energy day of action making loud and clear our campaign demands. GMB supports our NHS members and NHS campaigners with this fight for immediate emergency funding and investment in the workforce, SOSNHS.”
Holly Johnston, NHS nurse and member of NHS Workers Say No, says:
“We started this campaign and petition because as frontline workers we have seen the devastating impact of an underfunded and understaffed service on patient safety throughout the pandemic and before it. The deliberate erosion of the NHS also means staff feel unvalued by this government, having received what is in real terms pay cuts, year after year. NHS staff and patients deserve more and we need to see investment in the NHS to safeguard its future. The only true solution would be for it to be fully publicly owned. The health of the nation is suffering and underfunding has meant that health inequality has worsened. NHS staff can see the damage being done to the NHS and that is why we have 1 in 3 staff wanting to quit.”
Contact Holly Turner, GMB London Region Organiser 077 2534 6706
Notes to editors
NHS Workers Say No is a grassroots self-organised collective of frontline workers campaigning for pay justice for all NHS staff https://www.facebook.com/NHSworkersSayNo
SOS NHS is the largest coalition yet formed in defence of the NHS comprised of campaign groups, trade unions, health and care staff, social movements and civil society organisations. The coalition believes this money is needed to provide funds for urgent staff needs, tackle soaring costs for backlog maintenance and reopen almost 5,000 NHS beds that have not been used since the pandemic began. To stop the continued worsening of the crisis in the NHS, the coalition aims to persuade the Government to take immediate, concrete steps to relieve the crisis in hospitals, mental health, primary, community and social care, make a major U-turn and revise the Spending Review. The 40 different organisations taking part in this alliance: https://sosnhs.org/
Petition on Change.org: 'Rishi Sunak: We demand emergency funding for the NHS now! #SOSNHS' https://www.change.org/p/sosnhs-emergency-funding-now