Richard Howitt supports NHS staff strike over pay

NHS strike. Photo by Jamie Newell.NHS strike. Photo by Jamie Newell.
NHS strike. Photo by Jamie Newell.
Labour MEP Richard Howitt and Labour North MP Kelvin Hopkins showed their support for NHS staff at the four-hour strike over pay on Monday, October 13.

Workers are in dispute with ministers over pay, there were over 50 members of staff on various picket lines around the Luton and Dunstable hospital.

Trade unions want a 1% pay rise for all NHS staff, but the government says that will cost too much.

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Richard Howitt MEP said: “I remain proud of the unique model of the British National Health Service and believe it to be the best in Europe and the world. But as a Member of the European Parliament, I see how other European countries are able to spend more in health, showing that the Government here could and should afford to pay you fair.

Richard Howitt MEP with NHS workers at the NHS strikeRichard Howitt MEP with NHS workers at the NHS strike
Richard Howitt MEP with NHS workers at the NHS strike

“The fight for fair pay, for health workers jobs, against NHS cuts and privatisation is one fight, and I hope my presence today shows we stand as one.”

Jamie Newell, Bedfordshire Fire Brigades Union, said: “I joined staff from the NHS at the L&D on their strike today because the NHS is perhaps the single most important thing we have been given and their stand today on the front line for fair pay and a decent living wage is admirable.

“It was built and paid for by our parents, grandparents and ourselves today - the attacks on terms and conditions is a requirement for privatisation and should be something that sends alarm bells ringing throughout society.”