Nurses Protest Outside Parliament To #ScrapTheCap

The public sector pay cap has left some nurses forced to rely on food banks

Nurses Protest Outside Parliament To #ScrapTheCap

by Florence Ogram |
Published on

Two thousand nurses came together outside Parliament yesterday demanding that the government lift the 1% pay cap on public sector.

Nurses held up protest placards with statements including ‘nurses don’t grow on trees’ and ‘because we’re worth it’, in company with the hashtag #ScrapTheCap. They were joined alongside thousands of other supporters for the campaign which was arranged by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

The cap that limits the annual pay rise to 1%, was implemented in 2010 during David Cameron’s coalition government. Since then it has led to 14% real-terms cuts in staff in England’s wages, which as well as affecting nurses, has also affected the salaries of police officers, firefighters and more.

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The cuts have left nurses suffering with some saying their monthly wages hardly last them two weeks, whilst others are being forced to go to food banks. The cap has also impacted the NHS recruitment, which has in turn left nurses under more amounts of stress to cover for this.

Cecilia Anim, the President of the RCN, told the crowd that “for far too long our hard work, our skill, our dedication has been taken for granted by this government … for too long the lives of our friends and colleagues have been blighted. And why? Because our pay has been cut.”

Theresa May has been forced to consider lifting the pay cap after pressure from unions, as well as from fellow politician Boris Johnson who says that public sector workers should be “getting a better deal”. Jeremy Corbyn also criticised May on how she 'had no problems finding £1bn to please the DUP' after her post-election deal with the political party and yet the cap remains.

Downing Street have not denied reports that they are planning to scrap the limit. Let’s hope we see some change for public sector workers in the next years.

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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