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Students protest at the Britain Needs A Pay Rise rally held in Belfast on Saturday

Students protest at the Britain Needs A Pay Rise rally held in Belfast on Saturday

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Students protest at the Britain Needs A Pay Rise rally held in Belfast on Saturday

Around 1,500 protesting workers marched through the centre of Belfast on Saturday calling for better wages.

The Britain Needs A Pay Rise rally was one of a number across the UK attended by more than 100,000.

The day's theme was fair pay for all workers, with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) claiming public sector pay had fallen in real terms by £50 per week since 2008.

The organisers of the Belfast demonstration, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), said a quarter of the working population here were paid less than the living wage, which is currently £7.65 per hour.

Midwives and nurses were among those protesting at the Government's decision not to pay a recommended one per cent increase to all National Health Service staff.

Colleen Hamilton, a nurse at Londonderry's Altnagelvin Hospital, said: "I just feel that the idea of us not getting our one per cent pay rise as promised from Government is a wee bit ridiculous.

"Every other public sector worker has received their pay rise, but NHS staff haven't.

"I believe in strength in numbers, because it's really important for all nursing staff, all healthcare workers, to prove to people that we need this pay rise.

"As the cost of living and inflation increases every year, our pay has been the same since 2010."

Across the UK, unions urged Labour to do more to support workers struggling against the effects of spending cuts. Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, told the London rally: "I say to Labour – stop being scared of your own shadow. Don't shrink from what you offer the British people." Hospital radiographers are due to take strike action today.

Belfast Telegraph