A PEACEFUL protest against the government's decision to leave NHS staff out of a recent pay rise will be taking place on Saturday.

The protest, which will start at 11am in Bournemouth Square, will see protesters march to Bournemouth Pier through the gardens in response to the Chancellor's announcement in July that detailed the pay rises numerous public sectors will receive, which excluded the NHS.

A mental health nurse who has worked within the Dorset HealthCare Trust since the 1980s is spearheading the protest, stating that she feels "undervalued and demoralised" following the Chancellor's announcement.

Debbie Reynolds said: "I am proud to be a nurse and after all these years I can honestly say I still love my job. However, now I feel undervalued and demoralised not just for myself but for all NHS workers who go to work every day throughout the pandemic putting their own health and safety at risk.

"When the government made their announcement to give pay rises to other public sectors and not the NHS, it felt like a slap in the face for all the NHS staff. We of course do not begrudge the pay rise for the other sectors but it would of been nice to be included."

NHS workers across the country have come together to express their anger at the recent announcement and are also taking action, with demonstrations and peaceful protests taking place in 25 locations in the UK on Saturday, August 8.

Debbie decided to organise the Bournemouth based protest which has over 300 people interested.

She said: "The NHS workers are challenging the recent decision after decades of pay restraint which has seen an average nurse lose 20 per cent of their wage to inflation since 2010. Low pay is widely seen to have contributed to the 44,000 nursing vacancies and the over 100,000 unfilled posts within the NHS in England. All this puts patients at risk and leaves us vulnerable if there is a second peak of Covid-19.

"Unfortunately, the government is stating that NHS workers had a significant increase with the three year pay deal agreed in 2018. However, in reality this is not the case."

To find our more about the protest, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/280258143255638/ or search 'Dorset Nhs Workers Say No! To Public Sector Inequality' on Facebook.