HEALTH workers across the North West have launched a campaign over pay, with protests across the region.
The action has been called by public sector trade union, UNISON, and involves healthcare workers from all areas of the service, including nurses, paramedics, porters, cleaners, cooks, therapists and healthcare assistants.
Protests took place on Thursday outside hospitals over an offer that denies 60 per cent of NHS workers a pay rise.
It is believed 70 per cent of nurses will not get a pay rise.
“Members don’t take action often or easily, but this time it feels that we have no choice," said Paul Foley, UNISON North West’s Head of Health.
"We want to use this day to build support for a resounding yes vote when we ballot for strike action.
“Our members in the NHS tell us they are demoralised, overworked and undervalued.
"We also know that a demotivated workforce is bad for patients.
"Pay in the NHS has been effectively cut by 10 per cent since the coalition came to power."
He added that it was a 'national disgrace' that working people have to rely on benefits, food banks or payday loans to 'make ends meet'.
“Our members are among those hit hard by the state of the economy, the rise in the cost of food and fuel, coupled with housing and benefit cuts."
In calling the day of action, UNISON condemned the government’s decision to give a one per cent non-consolidated increase only to NHS staff at the top of their pay scale.
One of the protests took place at Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle.