Unions are urging people to put colourful posters in their windows in support of a campaign for a proper pay rise for NHS workers.

Fourteen unions, representing more than one million workers, called on households across the UK to show their appreciation for NHS workers with bright displays on Thursday, the day staff are due to have a wage rise.

The increase has been delayed and the Government has sparked anger by recommending a 1% rise in England, compared with 4% in Scotland.

Unions say the delay means health workers, including cleaners, porters, physiotherapists, 999 call handlers, nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, must now wait until later in the year for the wage rise they are due.

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “The public want NHS staff to get a decent pay rise. They know how tough this past year’s been for health workers who’ve gone to incredible lengths caring for patients, saving lives and keeping us safe.

“It’s now time we did something for NHS workers. By downloading and colouring in supportive posters, people can show the Prime Minister just how much NHS staff matter to them.

“Health workers are worth much more than 1%. The entire nation knows this. Let’s get creative, show the Government how very wrong it is on NHS pay and encourage ministers it’s high time they thought again.”

Royal College of Nursing general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “Last year the public put rainbow pictures in their windows to say thank you to NHS staff for their amazing work during the pandemic.

“Now we’re urging them to put posters up again, this time to help ensure those staff are rewarded properly for their skill, dedication and professionalism.

“The Government’s 1% pay proposal isn’t good enough. It needs to listen to the public support for nursing staff.”

Royal College of Midwives executive director of external relations Jon Skewes said: “We know we can count on the public to help lift the spirits of NHS staff. By displaying these bright posters of support, it’s hoped the Government will sit up and take note.

“The last few weeks have been really tough on staff, morale is low and their frustration is understandable. It’s time the Government recognised that the true value of all NHS staff is much more than a miserable 1% pay increase.”

Artworks designed by children’s illustrators and writers are part of a collection of posters available to download from a campaign page designed by the unions.

Children’s author and illustrator Emer Stamp said: “I’m delighted to support our wonderful NHS. Let’s get out our felt tips, pop a poster in our windows, and show the Government health workers deserve better.”