Sheffield NHS pay protest 'called off' after £10,000 fine issued in Manchester

A Sheffield NHS pay protest planned for this afternoon has been called off after an activist was given a £10,000 fine at a similar event in Manchester.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 2:48 pm

The protest against the Government’s 1 per cent pay award for nurses was due to take place at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital this afternoon at 4pm.

However, the event has now been cancelled after the organiser of a similar protest in Manchester on Sunday was given a £10,000 fine.

The 61-year-old woman was issued with the fixed penalty notice after 40 people turned up at St Peter’s Square in Manchester in contravention of the current coronavirus restrictions.

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A previous NHS pay protest at Barkers Pool in Sheffield.

The organiser of the Sheffield protest, nurse and union rep Joan Pons Laplana, said they simply couldn’t afford for the same thing to happen to them.

He said: “In view of yesterday’s police action in Manchester, we have decided to cancel today’s protest as we can’t afford a £10,000 fine.

“I feel that as long as we keep social distance and wearing masks we should be allowed to protest but £10,000 is outrageous.

“Several ministers and politicians have broken the quaratine rules including Mr Johnson but have not been fined.”

Last week, the Government announced that some NHS staff would only get a 1 per cent pay rise this year, saying that was all the country could currently afford.

The Royal College of Nurses have called for a 12.5 per cent pay rise and have set up a £35m strike fund should its members decide to take industrial action.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.