Health staff protest outside Victoria Hospital in pay campaign

Health staff have staged a demonstration outside Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital in protest at a 5% pay offer made by the Scottish Government.
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UNISON members employed by NHS Fife will stage a further demo outside Lynebank Hospital; Dunfermline, on Wednesday (October 26).

Staff said they were asking the Scottish Government to treat them with respect - and provide “a decent pay rise.”

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Andrew Verrecchia, an operating department practitioner and UNISON Fife health branch secretary said: “NHS workers in Fife are working under extraordinarily difficult conditions during an ongoing staffing crisis.

Health staff stage their demo outside the Victoria HospitalHealth staff stage their demo outside the Victoria Hospital
Health staff stage their demo outside the Victoria Hospital

“This comes on the back of over a decade of below inflation pay increases and the impact on staff from working tirelessly during the pandemic.

“We have sacrificed so much for our communities which we are proud to do. All we are asking for is our government to treat us with some respect and provide a decent pay increase.”

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Wendy McColville, who chairs UNISON Fife Health branch, and who works in learning disability services, explained the impact of the below inflation pay offer for staff working across the NHS.

Health staff stage their demo outside the Victoria HospitalHealth staff stage their demo outside the Victoria Hospital
Health staff stage their demo outside the Victoria Hospital
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“All our bills are going up,” she said. “The cost of living is significantly more expensive and on the day of our protest we learned that inflation has risen to over 10%.

“Offering us less than half the rate of inflation is a pay cut and an insult to all of us in the NHS. I have worked for the NHS for over 40 years and never known of so much anger from members. We need to reward NHS staff with a pay rise they deserve.”

She added: “There are so many staffing shortages in the NHS, the government must do more to both retain and recruit to our workforce. This starts with a fair increase in our pay in line with inflation.

“The government needs to reward the staff we have and make them feel valued for the work they do. In addition they need to make it more attractive for workers to come into and remain in the NHS.

“We are not just campaigning for ourselves; we are fighting for the future of the NHS.”