NHS staff and trade union GMB protested against the NHS England pay offer outside the Royal Sussex County Hospital today (August 3).
The three-year pay deal will see the pay of some NHS staff rise between 4.5 per cent and 29 per cent, but GMB argues that, for many employees, this uplift will not cover the forecast inflation and are campaigning for fair pay.
The protest was attended by Lloyd Russell-Moyle, 31, Labour MP for Kemptown.
He said: “A lot of NHS workers have been deceived about what they are getting.
“The pay deal was, in real terms, a pay cut for many workers.
“People are still undervalued in the NHS and so we have a situation where our NHS in this city is really struggling.”
GMB was the only trade union to reject the pay offer, with 87 per cent voting against the new deal.
GMB regional organiser Gary Palmer, 58, said: “The NHS staff are absolutely wonderful, they stand by and look after our families and they never complain.
“We are just reminding people that they are allowed their own rights and we want them to get the pay that they deserve.”
Gilliane Williams, 56, chair of Kemptown Labour CLP, was also present in support of GMB’s protest.
She said: “It’s an artificial pay rise that doesn’t even cover the rises in bus fares.
“Somebody was telling me earlier that they calculated that all they can get with this pay rise is a small bar of chocolate.”
Mrs Williams also reiterated the importance of the work done by the NHS.
She said: “This hospital saved my life two years ago. I had pneumonia and I nearly died, but the treatment I received was incredible, and I think every single person needs to come out and support them because you never know when you’re going to need them.”
GMB is currently holding a consultative ballot, which will close on August 8, to determine its future actions, with the possibility of strike action.