The cost-of-living crisis is a low pay crisis. Wages aren’t keeping pace with prices, especially in the public sector where workers have endured over a decade of pay restraint and freezes. Public service workers need an above-inflation pay rise and the minimum wage needs increasing too.

Around 400,000 UNISON members in the NHS are being balloted for industrial action on pay – because a pay rise of £1,400, or 72p an hour (or £2205* in Scotland, or no outcome at all in Northern Ireland), is nowhere near enough. It won’t help them pay their bills and it won’t help solve the staffing crisis that is engulfing the NHS. This pay outcome is bad for staff, bad for patients and bad for the NHS.

Not in UNISON? If you work for the NHS you can vote in this ballot if you join the union by 15 November. 

Make your voice heard. Join UNISON and rise with us.

*Scotland have suspended the IA ballot and are asking members to take part in a consultative ballot following an offer of £2205.


The cost-of-living crisis is a low pay crisis – wages are insufficient to live on. All wages are failing to keep pace with inflation, but this is especially the case in the public sector – and public sector wages are something that the government has direct control over.

Public service should get a pay rise above inflation. This would ensure public service workers can make ends meet, tackle the recruitment and retention crisis facing public services, and provide a substantial boost to regional economies.

Rather than asking workers to bear the pain of tackling inflation through wage restraint, it should be large companies exercising restraint. While profits are going up for many big corporations, their prices are also going up – at the expense of consumers, workers and the wider economy.

There also needs to be action to tackle work pay. The rate for the national living and minimum wages should increase to £15 an hour, with further work done on how it’s calculated so it always keeps pace with the real costs of living. This increase in the minimum wage would lift millions out of in-work poverty.

Let’s rise together to end the Cost of Living crisis.

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