A PROTEST demanding a pay rise for NHS health workers was held in Dorchester on a day of national action for 'pay justice'.

More than 70 people rallied together at Cornhill to demand a pay rise for nurses and other NHS health workers. Social distancing guidelines were adhered to and most people wore masks.

Most health workers were left out of a recent pay rise for public sector workers where police officers, teachers and doctors saw a pay increase of more than two per cent.

Lynne Hubbard, event organiser and dietitian at Dorset County Hospital, said: "The event went really well, I am delighted that so many different people turned out to show their support.

"I think people are worried about the privatisation of the NHS and they know that if NHS staff are not paid properly then they will leave which would be a disaster and could cost the NHS a fortune if they have to train new staff.

"After everything health workers have been through in the last six months and the huge sacrifices they have made during the pandemic it is unjust that they did not receive a pay increase in the recent round of government pay rises.

"We want health workers to have a pay rise of either £3,000 or 15 per cent, whichever is higher. That would be justice."

A number of teachers attended the protest to show their support for health workers.

Mark Chutter, a teacher at a Dorchester school, said: "It is so important that teachers and education staff come out in support for NHS staff.

"As public sector workers, we all need to stand in solidarity and stick together to fight against injustice.

"Teachers have been given a pay rise but the health workers have not and I do not think that is fair. We need to fight for equal pay rises for health workers and teachers."

Protests calling for a 15 per cent increase in pay for NHS workers also took place in Bournemouth, Manchester, Sheffield, London and Brighton on Saturday.