The Horsham Liberal Democrats were astounded to learn that the Government has omitted nurses and social care workers from the public sector pay rise that was announced by Rishi Sunak last week.
900,000 professionals in the public sector, including teachers, doctors, and police officers, will benefit from a one off, above inflation pay rise. Meanwhile nurses and healthcare assistants will have to wait until next year when their next pay rise, as part of a three year pay deal, will be awarded. It’s a move that has been badly received by nurses who have sacrificed so much in recent months to keep us all safe. The CEO of the Royal College of Nursing, Dame Donna Kinnair, commented that “nursing staff witnessed great public support and now need to feel the same from the government. Telling them to wait until next year is not acceptable – nursing staff deserve a fair pay rise now.”
Social care workers, however, find themselves omitted altogether, which has led to widespread criticism from the public and opposition benches alike. Ed Davey, the acting leader of the Lib Dems, said it was “simply not acceptable" the government had failed to recognise the "outstanding effort of social care staff during the COVID-19 crisis.”
If we didn’t already know it, the pandemic has shown us just how vital our frontline staff are. With a rapidly ageing population, we must guarantee the long-term sustainability of the adult social care sector and ensure that staff are properly recognised and rewarded.