Hundreds of health care workers rallied in British cities on Saturday, demanding the government acknowledge their hard work during the coronavirus pandemic with a hefty pay increase.
In London, demonstrators -- most wearing masks and observing social distancing -- marched to the gates of Downing Street, home to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, chanting, “Boris Johnson, hear us shout. Pay us properly or get out.”
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
Medics have been hailed as heroes during the pandemic by the government and public. But some say a decade of public spending cuts by Johnson and previous Conservative prime ministers left the state-funded National Health Service struggling to cope.
A placard carried by a protester in Glasgow, Scotland, said “Enough empty praise. (Give us) a fair raise.” Another read: “Who saved you, Boris?”
Johnson contracted COVID-19 and spent three nights in intensive care at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. He later thanked staff there for saving his life.
Nurses, care assistants and junior doctors are angry that they were left out of plans to give an above-inflation pay raise to almost 1 million public sector workers because they have a different contract with the government.
Dave Carr, a critical care nurse at St. Thomas’ Hospital, said working through the outbreak was “the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and we’re all exhausted.”
“We’re on our knees, absolutely on our knees. And on top of it they give 900,000 public sector workers a pay rise — and I haven’t got a problem with that — but they carve us out,” he said.
“I’m absolutely fuming. Tired and fuming. We’ve had enough.”
Coronavirus: Captain Tom, 99-year old veteran, raises $15 million for UK NHSCaptain Tom, a 99-year old British veteran, completed 100 laps of his garden on Thursday, raising 12.2 million British pounds ($15.24 million) for the ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: UK says 50 million face masks it bought in a hurry might not be safeThe British government says it won’t be using 50 million face masks it bought during a scramble to secure protective equipment for medics during the ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: UK, India’s Wockhardt sign deal to boost COVID-19 vaccine productionThe UK said on Monday it had partnered with Indian drugmaker Wockhardt to boost COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and hopes the firm's could start work ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: UK to roll out millions of 90-minute COVID-19, flu testsMillions of COVID-19 tests able to detect the virus within 90 minutes will be rolled out to British hospitals, care homes and laboratories to boost ... Coronavirus
Second wave of coronavirus hits the UK as lockdown tightens in northern EnglandBritain imposed a tougher lockdown in swathes of northern England after a rise in the rate of novel coronavirus transmission, raising concerns that a ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: The UK’s plan to reopen is ‘conditional’, says JohnsonBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that a recent uptick in infections was a “warning light” which means he has to hit the brakes on the easing ... Coronavirus