Let’s call the government out on pay with handclap protest, says UNISON South West

People are being asked to stand on their doorsteps and balconies tonight (Thursday) to slow handclap the government over its proposal for a 1% pay rise for NHS staff.

The public action – backed by UNISON, health unions and the TUC – is the latest step in the campaign to achieve fair pay for health workers who have worked tirelessly to keep the country safe, says UNISON.

The mass event takes place at 8pm on the first anniversary of the World Health Organisation declaring Covid-19 a global pandemic.

The slow handclap will be repeated three weeks later on 1 April, the day staff were due to have their next wage increase.

UNISON South West regional secretary Joanne Kaye said:

“This is the chance for the public to call the government out on pay for our incredible health service staff.

“Everyone in the NHS has coped in the toughest conditions this past year. Many have faced the trauma of patients dying, the exhaustion from endless shifts and the strain of chronic understaffing.

“I’ve spoken to porters, to health care assistants, nurses and administration staff across the South West who have all told me how tough the last year has been. It’s been humbling to hear their stories, and we must recognise the commitment they’ve shown and the sacrifices they’ve made.

“The government has shown them zero respect for keeping the NHS on its feet. We must give health staff our support this evening by showing the government exactly what we all think of its 1% pay proposal.”