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Nurses in Scotland Plan To Hold Rally After UK Govt Exclude Nurses From Pay Rise - News - Nursesarena Forum

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Nurses in Scotland Plan To Hold Rally After UK Govt Exclude Nurses From Pay Rise by katty : July 28, 2020, 01:57:33 PM
Hero Scottish healthcare workers have been left feeling “demoralised and unworthy” after being excluded from a public sector pay rise.

A group of nurses have now organised a protest to voice their anger after spending months fighting on the Covid-19 frontline alongside their brave colleagues.

The Nurses Say No! Glasgow group was set up by a group of furious healthcare professionals who are demanding they be paid “what we’re worth”.

They have thanked the public for their overwhelming support during the Clap for Carers campaign but said: “We can’t feed our families with a round of applause.”

They have hit out after the UK Government  announced a pay rise for 900,000 public sector workers last week - but nurses and hospital staff have been excluded.

Brenda Eadie, who has worked as a nurse for 24 years, is a founding member of the protest group and told how she considered retiring early after the mistreatment of medical staff.

She said: “There are a lot of angry nurses and healthcare workers out there.

“Part of that anger came from the fact that this pay rise was highlighted by the government saying that firefighters, teachers etc were all getting rewarded for their efforts during Covid-19.

“But what about our efforts? If there’s a second wave, who is it that’s going to deal with it? It’s going to be us again. It’s made us feel demoralised and unworthy.

“Any nurse would still be willing to walk away from their families to go deal with the virus again so it’s really disheartening for everybody after everything we’ve just experienced.

“There are a lot of angry nurses out there and thousands want to quit. I was one of them.

“I considered taking a massive hit on my pension and retiring early and that’s how quite a lot of nurses are feeling out there.

“From the feedback that we’re getting, people are really angry and I don’t blame them.

“We enjoyed the public’s part in the NHS Clap for Carers because it’s their health service.

“But when the government was using it to hide behind, it was demoralising and disheartening. We can’t feed our families with a round of applause.

“A lot of people didn’t get to see their families for months, they had to move out because they didn’t want to take Covid home or they lived with vulnerable people. That cost extra money, having to secure themselves somewhere else to stay.

“There are nurses who have developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder who hadn’t worked in intensive care who had to go over and learn. It was really quite horrific.

“But it isn’t really about the money for working during Covid itself. It’s more about the unequal pay.”

The 43-year-old told how nursing professionals want to be recognised and paid accordingly with the skills and knowledge that they have - not just for their virus-fighting efforts.

The UK government announced an above-inflation pay rise for almost 900,000 public sector workers last week following their “vital contribution” during the pandemic.

But nurses, paramedics, junior doctors and some other healthcare workers were excluded having agreed a minimum 9% three year pay rise deal in 2018.

Brenda claimed that many nurses barely noticed the pay rise or found themselves worse off due to paying higher taxes.

She explained: “Unfortunately we are bound by the Agenda for Change 2018 now where we had a pay rise over three years.

“But what people didn’t actually realise is that we’re actually losing money after paying taxes.

“When people get pay rises in other professions, they get that to match inflation and in one lump sum so they see the benefit from that.

“But they are also rewarded for their skills, knowledge and what they’re able to do. They can progress because they get better at things. That doesn’t happen for nurses.

“It doesn’t matter how many years you work. You can get to the top of your band 5 and you’ll stay at the top of that band. It doesn't matter how much you’ve learnt, you don’t automatically progress to the next band.

“There are nurses out there who are dual trained who not only can work in the mental health sector but they’re also trained to work in paediatrics.

“These people aren’t acknowledged either for the skills that they have - the pay doesn’t match that. It’s more an equality in pay that we’re looking for and not to be capped.

“It’s not really about the money, it’s about paying us what we are worth.”

Fellow healthcare worker and protest organiser Carl Frith added: “Because we’re nurses, the government and everyone else preys on our goodwill.

“They know we won’t do anything to jeopardize our patients and I think that’s why we’re not treated equally.”

A protest will be held on Saturday August 8 at Glasgow Green between 11am and 2pm.

Hundreds are expected to gather for the socially-distanced NHS Workers Say No demonstration with attendees told that masks are mandatory.

Healthcare workers will hold blue ribbons that have been cut into lengths of two metres to show their unity.

Willie Duffy, UNISON head of health said: “UNISON know how angry NHS staff are about their pay. The entire workforce has been heroic fighting this pandemic.

"UNISON understand the history behind this pay deal for doctors and dentists but the anger it has created amongst NHS staff more generally reinforces the serious issues we have on pay in the NHS, and why we are calling on the Scottish Health Secretary to reopen the NHS staff pay deal so we can discuss NHS pay.

“NHS staff were genuinely moved by the public support for them throughout this pandemic, particularly the weekly clap for carers.

“But now the Scottish health secretary needs to show how valued all NHS staff are and sit down with us to talk about pay.

“NHS staff have had real hardships over Covid19 the least we can do is show how much they are valued and reopen the NHS pay deal."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said:“This year nurses received a 2.95% pay rise as part of our three-year NHS Agenda for Change pay deal, which has delivered a minimum 9% pay increase for most staff, and over 27% for some still moving up their pay scale. This is in excess of the 2.8% uplift announced last week for NHS dentists and doctors in England and Scotland.

“We have regular engagement with staff and unions, where all issues related to NHS staff terms and conditions are discussed.  As we are now in the last year of the three year deal, we are working with NHS unions to agree a timetable to secure a new pay deal for 2021/22.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on those working in our NHS, and we are hugely grateful for the extraordinary hard work, dedication, skill and commitment of all those working in NHS Scotland during this emergency.”


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