NHS staff and supporters around the country took part in a ‘slow hand clap’ on Thursday evening in protest against ‘derisory’ pay rates for health workers.
The display – backed by public service union UNISON – was a spin on the original ‘clap for carers’ event, which saw Brits applaud in their doorways one evening a week as a show of thanks to health workers.
Videos of nurses participating in the sarcastic slow hand clap have been posted across social media – accompanied by messages demanding better pay for NHS staff.
The Government has experienced backlash from the health service since it was revealed last week there were plans to increase sector wages by just 1%.
When quizzed on the matter, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that ministers had tried to give key workers “as much as we can.”
But UNISON called the proposed pay rise “miserly” – arguing the NHS deserved a “proper thank you.”
The Royal College of Nursing has also set up an ongoing petition for a pay increase of 12.5% – calling on the Government to “give nursing what it deserves.”
The slow handclap on Thursday evening (March 11) saw participation from MPs, unions, NHS staff and members of the public.
A repeat of the display will take place three weeks later on April 1 – the day health staff were due to have their next wage increase.
The Royal College of Nursing has said it will continue to push on for a pay rise at a time when many nurses are “considering leaving the career they love”.
The organisation’s statement reads: “Funding our health and care system is a political choice.
“After years of inadequate support for the largest health and social care workforce, the UK government must take immediate action and fully fund a substantial pay rise for nursing.”
On Sunday (March 7), 61-year-old health worker Karen Reissmann was handed a £10,000 penalty for organising a Manchester protest against the ‘insulting’ NHS pay rates.
Police are now reviewing the fine following a request from Mayor Andy Burnham in a bid to ascertain whether it was enforced correctly.