People's History of the NHS


The nurses’ pay campaign, 1982

In 1982 NHS nurses and other staff complained about low pay and campaigned for a 12% pay rise. Health workers appealed for and won support from many other groups of workers, including miners, printers and electricians (who had a 1-day "sympathy strike"). As a result of the strike the government established an independent pay review body for NHS staff, which continues to play a significant role in setting health workers' pay.

2 thoughts on “What’s 4% to us?

  1. Yes an independent pay review was established but as a nurse at that time and until my retirement in 2002 ,I know from bitter experience that successive governments, especially Tory governments ,refused to implement the pay review recommendations and just increased pay to the level they wanted to, or implemented the percentage recommended over a number of years thus devaluing the actual amount paid.

    1. I think that was a long-standing objection to Whitley Councils too – that the government interfered whenever they felt like it. NHS workers were used for many years as a way to enforce pay restraint on the public sector.

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