"I can’t afford to work in radiography – schools are breaking up and I can’t take my child away"

Our members are struggling. After 15 years of their pay falling behind the national average, we need to take a stand.

Published: 23 July 2023 Trade Union & IR

As schools break up for the long summer holidays, our members are worrying about how they will afford the next six weeks as their pay fails to keep up with the cost of living. 

From childcare to holidays to weekly shops, radiography professionals are making hard choices over how they spend their earnings - and harder choices about whether they stay in their jobs. After 15 years of their pay falling behind the national average, some are leaving for the private sector, some are quitting the profession altogether. 

As one diagnostic radiographer from Liverpool says: “I’d like to take my little girl on holiday, just an all-inclusive week somewhere. But it’s a struggle. If I don’t go out or buy anything for 10 months of the year – no little treats or extras – then I’ll be able to go on holiday.”  

Another diagnostic radiographer from Macclesfield says: “I’ve started cutting back on food and shopping bills. I go through my online basket and make a decision about each item. Do we really need this? Is there a cheaper item?” 

The lack of pay coupled with long hours is forcing people to leave. “Pay is not keeping up with inflation,” says a therapeutic radiographer from South London. “And because minimum wage is quite rightly increasing, the differential between skilled and unskilled jobs is not an awful lot. The number of times I hear colleagues threatening to go and work in Sainsbury’s – it’s disturbing.” 

On Tuesday 25 July, our members across England’s NHS Trusts will be taking strike action to urge the Government to address pay as part of improving recruitment and retention. 

Our members deserve better, our patients deserve better. 

Get involved 

If you'd like to support us there are a range of things you can do, including: 

  • Write to your MP and ask why key NHS workers are underpaid, overworked and undervalued. 
  • Make a donation to the Benevolent Fund, which helps radiography professionals and their families during times of hardship.
  • Follow us on social media and share our content to help raise awareness about our profession
  • If you are a Society member, join us for an online rally on Monday 24 from 18:00 - 18:30