All National Health Service (NHS) workers in England will get a 3% single-year pay rise, but a group of Filipino nurses in United Kingdom said that it is not enough.
In a statement by its chairperson Oliver Soriano, the Philippine Nurses Association of United Kingdom (PNA UK) expressed its “disappointment and displeasure” for the pay hike recently announced by the UK Government through the Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid.
“On behalf of its members and the thousands of Philippine Nurses currently employed by the NHS, the Philippine Nurses Association of United Kingdom (PNA UK) publicly announces its disappointment and displeasure on this pay-award for healthcare workers who have sacrificed, struggled and laboured tremendously over the years and more so during the Pandemic,” PNA UK said.
PNA UK said that the 3% pay rise is not enough to cover the “distasteful pay cuts” NHS workers got over the last decade which overall equates to 12.5% at present. The group also cited the expected 3.7% inflation this year, as announced by the UK treasury.
“The 3% pay rise approved by the government leaves most healthcare workers short and in reality a substantial pay-cut and not a pay-rise,” it added.
“Philippine Nurses comprise the largest workforce in the NHS and have been helping keep afloat the NHS over the last two decades. Together with the other internationally trained nurses who are now working in the NHS, many have left family and friends to help sustain the excellent service that the NHS is now known worldwide. The recent Pandemic has seen all world economies collapse and every sector of the business and government stop — except the National Service and those who keep it going. To offer a meagre 3% rise because as journalist James Max justification that “MPs deserve higher pay because ‘it’s more difficult to be an MP than it is to be a nurse” is an insult not only to the profession but to the 1.5 million NHS Health workers who have continued working when everybody else has stopped. His insensitive statement has caused outraged and is widely criticised as evidence of the unfair and unacceptable offer of pay-rise,” PNA UK further explained.
The group is instead calling for a “decent minimum 12.5% or more pay-award to compensate for the pay-cuts over the last decade and as an appreciation for the self-less service NHS workers have done recently.”
“The Philippine Nurses Association of UK would like to appeal to the Independent NHS Pay Review Board, the Health and Social Care Secretary and the Minister of Health to carefully reconsider the decisions made with regards to the pay-awards for NHS workers. If at all, consider speaking directly with the stakeholders and consider what is in the best interest of the profession who has suffered enough from the pandemic,” PNA UK said.