Thousands of National Health System (NHS) workers took to the streets across the UK on Saturday to demand a recognition of their work during the pandemic. NHS staff and nurses were also protesting their exclusion from a recent pay rise announcement.
In London, NHS protesters rallied in Parliament Square, with signs reading 'Exploitation of our dedication'' and ''How dare you exclude health workers from the payrise?''
''We are here marching against the recent pay increase in the public sector that nurses wanted to be included in. The reason they did not include us in it is because of the pay deal that was agreed three years ago before any kind of pandemic thing. It was obviously never subject to a change of circumstance,» said Ryan, a nurse.
''We have not seen our family members. We have been working hard. None of us knew what we were doing in the beginning. Yet, we do not get a pay rise for what we have done,'' protested a pediatric nurse, Nelika.
Demonstrations were held all around the country from Cardiff, Liverpool and Edinburgh, to Newcastle and Sheffield.
Some 900,000 public sector workers, including doctors, dentists and police, were given a pay rise. Nurses, junior doctors and other health staff were not included.