Falkirk's 'forgotten' NHS workers sign 10 per cent pay rise petition
NHS nurses and care staff left out of the recent public sector pay rise announcements are now joining together to petition the UK Government for what they believe is a fair deal.
A new group, NHS Workers Say NO! to Public Sector Pay Inequality, was set up after nurses and care employees were excluded from a pay rise of 3.1 per cent which almost 900,000 public sector workers in the UK will be enjoying and will see some NHS medical staff – not nurses – and dental workers in Scotland receiving a 2.8 per cent pay rise.
The group has now launched a petition to looking for the government to award all nursing staff in the NHS a pay rise of 10 per cent back dated to April 1, 2020 and it is fast approaching 90,000 signatures.
If it reaches 100,000 the issue qualifies to be considered for debate in the UK Parliament.
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Last week nurses in the NHS Forth Valley area said they felt “betrayed” after their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic was overlooked by the UK Government.
The government says nurses are not included in the pay deal because they negotiated a separate three-year package worth nine per cent back in 2018.
However, according to online publication Nursing Notes, which stated it was surprised to see nurses missing from the inflation-busting pay rise for public sector workers, the three-year settlement agreed in 2018 was not all that is cracked up to be.
It stated: “The Treasury claims there is already a settlement in place for ‘for more than one million NHS workers who continue to benefit from the three-year Agenda for Change pay deal, under which the starting pay for a newly qualified nurse has increased by over 12 per cent since 2017/18’
“It goes on to proclaim the average nurse will ‘receive an average 4.4 per cent rise this year’. In stark contrast to the claim, the vast majority of frontline nurses received just 1.65 per cent in April this year – the last rise of a multi-year pay deal which saw the average take-home salary of a Band 5 nurse rise by just seven per cent.”
One nurse from Falkirk said: “I just feel like it is a slap in the face – after risking our safety and the safety of our families – to be repaid with some applause and some £5 care badge that we need to buy.”
Last week another Forth Valley Royal Hospital nurse said: “Earlier this year we had people out every week clapping us – but you can’t buy food with applause. Being left out of this pay rise is just another example of the government ignoring nurses and the work that we do.
“They say we were left out because we got a three-year pay deal back in 2018, but for most nurses with long service that deal was not as good as it was made out to be."
Visit petition.parliament.uk/petitions/316307 if you want more information or want to sign the pay rise petition.