One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
NHS Protest Over Pay In Newcastle
Members of the Royal College of Nursing in the North East have been protesting over pay outside Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.
The RCN joined with other health unions across the country to take part in a 'Day of Action'.
They're protesting against the Government’s refusal to honour a recommended 1% pay rise for all NHS staff.
Members were joined outside the hospital by Newcastle East MP Nick Brown, who told Heart:
"The pay offer is just not on.
This is the third year of public sector pay restraints and the offer is such that some people ill actually end up losing money because of the rise in the cost of living.
What's happening is completely unfair. These are people who spend their lives saving ours. We should stand up for them."
In a statement, the Department of Health said:
"NHS staff are our greatest asset. That's why at a time of severe funding restraint we have been clear that they should receive at least one per cent additional pay this year and next.
We cannot afford a general pay rise on top of incremental pay increases of up to six per cent without risking frontline jobs and safe staffing levels.
We are disappointed that the unions rejected our offer to discuss any alternative proposals on pay, within an available budget of nearly £1 billion. However, our door remains open if they wish to reconsider their position."
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