PRESS RELEASE. JULY 29, 2021. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A rally to celebrate the 73rd birthday of the NHS, and to demand pay justice for health workers and to oppose growing privatisation, is set to take place in Leicester City Centre this Saturday.
The rally, called by Save Our NHS Leicestershire and backed by Leicester Unite and GMB, is part of a nationwide weekend of action organised by NHS workers, trade unionists and health campaigners.
Beginning at Gallowtree Gate at 1pm on Saturday July 3, speakers will address the crowd about the NHS and the impact of the last 18 months; the need for a substantial pay rise for NHS workers, who in some cases have a suffered as much as 20% real terms pay cut over the last 10 years; as well as controversial new government plans to reorganise services into Integrated Care Services, which many campaigners fear will deepen the role of the private sector.
Tom Barker from Save Our NHS Leicestershire said:
“73 years ago, despite a war-ravaged economy, we created the world’s first universal health service: the NHS. Now as we battle the most serious pandemic in 100 years, with millions on waiting lists, the NHS is being thanked and applauded – but the investment needed to show that staff are valued is not forthcoming.
“The truth is the NHS was struggling well before the Covid-19 pandemic, after years of government cuts led to desperate winter crises and 100,000 vacant posts.
“The 1% pay offer from the government is a kick in the teeth for NHS workers, who have and continue to sacrifice so much both before and throughout the pandemic.
“Why is it that the government is happy to splurge £38billion on a privatised Test and Trace service that never worked, but refuses a decent pay rise for NHS workers which could, at a fraction of the cost, have an incredible impact on morale, which is currently at an all time low?
“We ask that if you took to the doorstep to show solidarity with NHS workers during the peak of pandemic, that you come to Gallowtree Gate in Leicester City Centre this Saturday at 1pm and join us, both to celebrate the NHS and its achievements, but to demand more from this government.”
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