NHS workers and public called to join silent protest

NHS workers Catherine and Simon Taylor have organised a march in Norwich at the weekend for NHS work

NHS workers Catherine and Simon Taylor have organised a march in Norwich at the weekend for NHS workers Byline: Sonya Duncan(C) Archant 2020 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

NHS workers will lead a silent protest and march for fairer pay in Norwich this weekend.

Catherine and Simon Taylor, from Norwich, are rallying NHS staff and supporters to join them on Saturday in a socially distanced march from Chapelfield Gardens.

Last month, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced 900,000 public sector workers would receive a pay increase, which did not extend to nurses and health care assistants, social carers and paramedics.

The government’s reasoning was that nurses are covered by a three year pay deal in 2018.

Following an initial march in London on July 29, a number of protests will take place across the country on August 8 calling on the government to demand a 15pc increase to recover a decade of lost wages.

More: Winners and losers of the public sector pay risesMrs Taylor, a nurse with 23 years experience, said; “Talking to other people everybody feels strongly.

“I was just so proud of how everybody was pulling together. We all upgraded training, some moved to ICU and moved to another area and some are still in different areas and have not moved back.

“If it had hit the fan we would have handled it well. We felt so supported working together. It was like a kick in the teeth, it was ‘thanks for that, we won’t be giving you any more money, have a badge. They gave us a badge or a mug to say thank-you, it’s not enough when you are struggling to pay your bills.”

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As part of the march, those taking part will be encouraged to be silent to emphasise how they feel ignored by the decision as they walk from Chapelfield Gardens at 11am to City Hall and back.

The organisers added anyone who wishes to bring a flower to represent workers who have died as a result of their job, of which there have been 540 during the pandemic, to be placed at the end of the walk.

NHS workers are also encouraged to bring photos of themselves at work, wearing personal protective equipment, and wear their stories as they march.

Mrs Taylor added: “Nobody is going to expect us to be silent.”

It is the first time the couple have organised something like this and hope members of the public will show their support also.

Mr Taylor, a health care assistant, said: “It would be brilliant for people to get behind us and say we do deserve more.

“Boris had coronavirus, Matt Hancock had coronavirus and were quick to say how well treated they were, then give us something back.”

Those taking part must observe social distancing, wear a mask or face covering. A minute silence will be held at midday. Speeches will also take place in the gardens.

To find out more search Norwich: March For Fair Pay For The NHS.