A furore has built in the wake of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s dispiriting budget last week, where NHS staff have been promised a paltry 1% pay rise following the hardest year ever faced by the health service. Questions among staff are now being asked; Where’s our thanks? Where’s the solidarity? Where’s our bleedin’ money? But these questions are nothing new for NHS staff or those workers providing social health care in the community. They’ve been asking those questions for decades, and nobody is rushing to answer.
NHS staff are chronically underpaid, and this trend looks set to continue, even though the Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the extraordinary work done every day by staff. The same can be said for care workers, yet it is the pay rise for NHS staff that dominates the headlines, bolstered by pressure from NHS bosses, unions and a large cross-section of the general public. So where is the support for our care workers? Why is nobody demanding care workers are paid the national living wage (£9.50 per hour)? Why are people who care for the most vulnerable members of our society being allowed to slip into poverty and degradation with nary a word written, or a single question raised in parliament?
If you think this is unfair and would like to help, you can support our healthcare workers by signing a petition to secure a living wage for carers, so they can perform their difficult and important jobs, without the worry of financial concerns at home.
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/561831 (directs to external site)
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Martin Gregory. 2021