Bristol nurses held protests in the city centre on Sunday, August 9, demanding a pay rise. The nurses complained that they were left out of a post-lockdown pay rise.
The nurses work at Southmead and Bristol Royal Infirmary hospitals. They took to the streets because they were angry and felt betrayed because they were not considered for a pay rise that was awarded in June and July to public sector workers.
Although the health workers were given a pay deal in 2018, they feel that they are still on poverty wages. The 2018 pay rise deal benefited hospital porters, nurses, nursing assistants, careworkers, and other NHS workers.
However, the protesting nurses said they are on the danger of heading to the foodbanks to get enough to eat.
The nurses gathered at College Green before marching through the streets in the city. Before heading to the streets, they observed a moment of silence for all NHS staff in Bristol who succumbed to COVID-19. They carried placards with some of them written “Cash not Claps.”
They insisted that they do not need weekly claps from people. Instead, they requested those people to support them in their call for decent pay.
One nurse from Bristol Royal Infirmary hospital said that it is weird to clap for carers who are suffering. She added that the healthcare workers had worked tirelessly since the pandemic began, and they deserve something better than a clap.
Another nurse from Southmead hospital noted that NHS workers and nurses had been underpaid for decades. He added that the government promised nurses a 12% pay rise in 2018 that was to be implemented over three years.
However, with the current inflation that began in 2010, nurses have instead received a 7.2% pay decrease.