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Could you be about to get a pay rise?


Maybe it’s the heat, the shock of not doing so well at the general election or perhaps a recognition of the selfless bravery and commitment shown by public sector workers responding to recent tragic events. But whatever the reason, suddenly there seems to be a government appetite for scrapping the public sector pay cap.

NHS Confederation chair Sir Stephen Dorrell mentioned pay in his opening remarks at Confed last week, and was later followed on stage by health secretary Jeremy Hunt who also alluded to the fact that the government understands the 1% pay cap cannot last forever.

Now the longest-serving health secretary, Mr Hunt also mentioned in his speech a possible reason for his longevity. He said it was because he does not read social media.

Well perhaps he should have been taking more interest in social media. If he had he might have recognised some time ago just how much hardship this seven-year pay cap has caused to the staff working flat out to prop up the ailing NHS. And then he might have pressured Ms May and the chancellor to act sooner to alleviate their financial distress.

“Nurses cannot live on gratitude and platitudes alone”

Mr Hunt peppered his speech with gratitude for the ambulance workers, paramedics, nurses and others treating people injured in the terror attacks and Grenfell Tower fire. He also made sure that he mentioned not just those involved in the immediate heroic rescue, but the staff who will provide long-term support people to people affected by these tragedies, such as the mental health services and bereavement nurses at Salford Royal Foundation Trust.

Mr Hunt is right to call out for applause for those who have run towards danger, helped patients and saved lives. He is equally right to recognise the excellent work being done by those in the aftermath of these traumatic events.

But nurses and other public sector workers cannot live on gratitude and platitudes alone. If he truly values what these people do every day – not just when they are in the news – then he must pay them appropriately. This year, more than any other, has shown how much we depend on our public services. Police, firefighters and healthcare staff have rallied despite the fact that their resources have been cut to the bone by the government and their pay has shrunk by 14% since 2010.

“Police, firefighters and healthcare staff have rallied despite cuts”

Well enough is enough. It is right that we thank those who have and do give up so much for so many. But nothing quite says thank you like a decent pay cheque. I am hopeful that Ms May and Mr Hunt may finally have realised that.


Readers' comments (11)

  • If I was totally cynical about this I would say Jeremy Hunt has realised he needs your votes to stay in power when the next election is called so he is saying this. Shows you how powerful you have become.

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  • Well let's hope he reads this. I will believe it when I see it in my pay packet 🙄

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  • As above. Will believe it when I see it. Not only have we endured a pay cut in real terms but we are discouraged from progressing due to the Agenda for Change payscale.

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  • 1% pay rise meant that I crossed into the next pension threshold and I am now £800 worse off a year. How can a pay rise result in you earning less?....the system is crazy and so unfair.

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  • I'm not sure what you mean by pay rise, Jenni: since 2010 I have had a 14% real terms pay cut under the Tories. It would need to be a 15% uplift to be a rise from the 2010 base.

    Hunt is duplicitous: suddenly being nice to NHS staff after years of undermining and destroying the service - he is playing politics for his own ends. Those ends have yet to be revealed. He genuinely is not interested in a single nurse or our views.

    And by the way, that Magic Money Tree which Teresa May managed to find today in a sad and desperate attempt to cling to the wreckage of power suddenly gave her £1000 000 000 to sweeten the DUP.

    Do you think the Scottish and Welsh Gvts will say 'no problem. fine by us', or 'get your hand in your pocket again Mrs May'?

    And then there is the bill for Brexit.

    Does any single one of you believe the Magic Money Tree will be available for a small uplift in your pay above the current level of inflation, never mind the 2010 baseline, for a profession that works for an organisation that the Tories ideologically hate?

    There is money. The Gvt makes choices. Nurses are politically apathetic so politicians do with us what they please.

    Those of you that voted for the Tories are getting everything you deserve. The sooner this Gvt collapses, the better.

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  • Let continue the good job, saving lives, the 1% rise will not stay in place forever.

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  • Where is JC magic money tree. It's alright to say that he would scrap university fees and give nurses pay increase Where was he going get the money from? I would say an increase in our taxes or perhaps borrow billions - The borrowing of billions would put the country further in debt. People have short memories it was blairs/browns government that put this country in the situation it is today. However, I do feel it's time that public service pay should be increased.

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  • To Anonymous, 27 June 1:09pm

    Either you have swallowed the nonsense of the right wing main stream media, or are a Tory troll.

    Blair and Brown did not put this country in the position it is today. The WORLD WIDE financial crash started in the USA when the Lehman bank collapsed due to Neo-Liberal banking practice. The collapse started a domino effect bring down the world wide financial system.

    Brown was the first of world leaders to intervene and prop up the banks and prevented a fatal crash to the financial system.

    If you read the Labour manifesto you would see where the money would come from - Google it.

    And let's see where the current pay has got us: we are the worst paid public degree educated public servants. As a result we simply cannot attract enough people into the profession - 40 000 vacancies lead to poor care, poor outcomes for patients, longer stays in hospitals, higher death rates, huge bills for agency nurses: and that's before we talk about higher sick rates.

    The Tory government has given those in society that genuinely do not need it a 5% income tax cut. The very wealthiest in society are actually getting tax cuts - paid for by that borrowing you claim to dislike.

    The Tory government have also significantly cut Corporation Tax. You see, they look after their own, not the many.

    So, let's look at what Blair and Brown did with the NHS: just 1 example. When they took office in 1997 the UK had the longest waits for cancer treatment in the Western world. They introduced the 2 week wait to see a specialist and the 31 and 62 day targets to treatment and survival rates increased significantly. Satisfaction in the NHS was at an all time high in 2010 and it was recognised as the most efficient health service in the world (use your Google button).

    Since then, the Tories have spent £25,000,000,000 in introducing the internal market (more of that borrowing that you don't like) whilst simultaneously cutting our pay. The cost of administering the internal market continues to take money away from direct patient care: Virgin are currently suing 8 CCGs because they didn't win the contract to provide the services.

    Have a guess where the CCGs get money from to fight those 8 legal cases by hiring very expensive barristers?

    The Tories hate the NHS and everything it stands for - this is their ideology. They are setting it up to fail. The mainstream media is led by Murdoch and Dacre, Billionaires who pay little or no tax in the UK whilst earning huge amounts from the UK economy. Murdoch in particular has Teresa May on speed dial.

    The only thing you have said that I agree with is that public servant pay should be increased. MPs have enjoyed generous pay rises (and have perks that should have been scrapped long ago: do you get tax payer subsidised food and alcohol? More of that borrowing you don't like).

    The Tories know that cost of everything and the value of nothing. They say platitudes in the hope that nurses will be happy with that and continue going to food banks (the reasons are complex, darling).

    You are right, there is no magic money tree. It's just that the Tories manage to find one when thinking about the 1%.

    When you read or see something in the MSM, ask questions rather than swallowing the nonsense.

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  • Wow! The above comment is so accurate, it left me feeling anarchic! The magic money tree so crowed about by Amber Rudd and Mrs May and in such disdainful terms suddenly appeared. Not only did it appear, it blossomed and grew fruit. All of which was picked and pocketed by Northern Ireland. We have been scammed by this government for years now. It surely is time to emulate our esteemed Prime Minister and tell her 'enough is enough'.

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  • They are giving you more money so you'll vote for them at the next election

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