Health workers in Wales are suffering the impact of the biggest cost-of-living crisis in a generation and need an immediate inflation-busting pay rise, says trade union UNISON Cymru/Wales.
UNISON has heard from health workers who are being forced to move out of their homes as they can no longer afford to pay their rent as well as those who now rely on foodbanks just to survive.
One health worker told UNISON: “Both myself and my partner work full time for the NHS and can no longer afford to live in our existing house due to costs increasing beyond our salaries.”
UNISON stewards have also heard cases of NHS Wales staff coming into work hungry as hospital canteens are closed at evenings and weekends.
UNISON has written to the Welsh Government and health boards across Wales calling for an immediate above inflation pay rise for health workers in Wales as well as action on pay grades and issues of unpaid overtime.
This is vital if the health service in Wales is to attract high quality staff and retain those workers.
Hugh McDyer, head of health at UNISON Cymru/Wales, said: “The NHS workforce is in crisis – we desperately need NHS Wales to play its part to keep dedicated, hardworking but exhausted staff in the health service here in Wales.
“Initiatives such as foodbanks and free food for staff provide a lifeline for those workers but these should not be necessary.
“There should never be a situation where staff are coming in to work hungry as they cannot afford to feed themselves.
“We need to make sure everyone is paid fairly for the job they do and the hours they work.”
UNISON Cymru/Wales will be staging a day of action at health boards across Wales on Wednesday May 25 as part of a national Put NHS Pay Right campaign.