Running Time: 8:28
In the latest demonstrations around the country for a 15% pay rise for all NHS workers, healthworkers in London descended on the BBC headquarters on September 12 in anger at the corporation’s disgraceful refusal to cover the campaign.
A very emotional die-in was accompanied by powerful accounts from healthworkers mourning their dead colleagues (640 healthworkers have died so far), detailing the unforgiveable lack of PPE, and the extreme conditions they’ve had to work under – 15 hours shifts without even a break were not uncommon.
However, the increasing momentum of the campaign suggests the BBC won’t be needed anyway – this week, UNITE joined the GMB in backing the fight for 15%. Now they need to be pushed into balloting for strike action – including, crucially, UNISON, who are still to back 15%.
With 100,000 vacancies in the NHS and thousands more seriously considering leaving, a pay rise is absolutely essential to stop the NHS falling apart – and in the short term, being overwhelmed by a second wave of COVID-19. French healthworkers won £7.2 billion in pay rises (an average of £2,000 per worker) by taking strike action during the pandemic. Today’s demonstrations made it clear that more and more healthworkers in Britain are ready to do the same.