Hundreds of NHS staff beg the Government not to freeze public sector wages to help pay for coronavirus crisis
- NHS workers beg Chancellor Rishi Sunak to rule out public sector freeze pay
- It comes after a leaked Treasury report a two-pay halt on public wage rises
- The report warned of a £337bn Budget deficit following the COVID-19 outbreak
- Campaign group 38 Degrees are now demanding to protect NHS workers wages
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Hundreds of NHS staff risking their lives to battle the coronavirus have begged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to rule out public sector pay freeze.
It comes days after a leaked Treasury report outlined that freezing public sector wage rises could save £6.5billion – which would include those on the frontline fighting COVID-19.
The study warned of a £337bn Budget deficit that has been brought on by the outbreak of the virus, which has left millions across the country furloughed and in lockdown.
However, campaign group 38 Degrees is stepping up in the fight to spare those putting their lives on the line to fight the virus from footing the bill.
NHS workers have sent letters to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to rule out public sector pay freeze
The group rallied 21,000 of its supporters, including 918 NHS staff, to send their own personal emails to the Chancellor with demands to protect our key workers.
The letter says: ‘Our frontline workers, like nurses and other NHS staff, have risked – and in far too many cases tragically lost – their lives during this coronavirus pandemic.
‘They deserve a permanent pay rise for the sacrifices they’ve made.
‘But now it’s been leaked that the Government could freeze their wages instead.
‘It’s a slap in the face to those who’ve given so much for us all.
‘Week in, week out, we take to our windows and doors to clap and cheer our frontline workers because, to us, they’re heroes.
‘After this, they deserve a pay rise, not a pay freeze.’
Thousands of key workers have reached out to Sunak (right) to not freeze NHS wages
One email saw key worker named Caroline from Leicester, make a heartfelt plea to Sunak.
She wrote: ‘I am a nurse and so is my husband… Please do not consider freezing our wages. We have worked so hard throughout this crisis. We have put our lives on the line. We haven’t grumbled, we haven’t shirked our duties, we haven’t given up. Don’t do this to us.’
At the time of writing, 145,340 members of the public have signed the petition to back the 38 Degrees campaign.
A public sector pay freeze could affect more than five million people including police officers, teachers and council workers, as well as NHS and care staff, but the campaign is focused on protecting pay only for health workers.
Following the letter, 38 Degrees campaigner Mike Matters told The Mirror that any cuts to NHS workers would be ‘a slap in the face’ and that key workers should be ‘getting a pay rise’ when considering all the work they’ve done for this country in such unprecedented times.
Last week, Boris Johnson warned he will not freeze NHS pay or return to austerity to get Britain out of the economic black hole caused by coronavirus.
When asked whether nurses could expect a pay freeze as part of any recovery plan the PM, who spent a week in intensive care being treated for coronavirus, said ‘Absolutely not. Anyone who suggests that can sit on it’, according to the Telegraph.