Reconsider the payrise for NHS nurses

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During the latest government discussion Boris Johnson credited the work of NHS nurses but failed to acknowledge their pay never meets the rate of national inflation. More than 300 NHS workers have died in England alone after contracting coronavirus, many doing so while caring for patients.

The government needs to reconsider the payrise for nurses, the agenda for change ends in 2021 and before this pay was capped. Nurses, Paramedics, CSW’s, ECA’s/Tech’s, Porters, Cleaners, ODP’s, Receptionists  and everybody else deserve the recognition they deserve throughout this pandemic and this should be shown through increasing their pay just like the other 900,000 public sector workers.

The Treasury claims this is because 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% since 2017/18.” In contrast the vast majority of frontline nurses received just 1.65% payrise in April this year, this is the last rise of a multi-year pay deal which saw the average take-home salary of a Band 5 nurse rise by just 7%. This means the average Band 5 NHS nurse is £6144 per year worse off due to wages failing to keep up with the rate of inflation (RPI) – a real-terms pay cut of around 20%. Many nurses are considering leaving the profession due to not being able to live and afford to pay day to day bills.

The government has completely side stepped social care workers. Mark Adams, chief executive of the charity Community Integrated Care, said "national shame" that social care workers had been on the front line during the coronavirus pandemic on minimum wage salaries”

As a solution pay should reflect the efforts each and every social care worker put into this pandemic, they put their own lives and their family lives at risk to care for other people and to make sure not a single person was alone through the pandemic, the pandemic that is still ongoing.

Clap for carers was supportive, but it doesn’t pay the price of living for the rest of the public sector that was missed from the payrise.