MP backs calls for wage increase for nurses and social care workers
PUBLISHED: 00:00 22 June 2020
A Suffolk MP has backed a campaign to increase the pay of social care workers and nurses following their efforts during the coronavirus outbreak.
Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich is one of 38 cross-party MPs who are lending their support to the campaign which was started by the Labour MP for Ealing Southall, Virendra Sharma.
The campaign calls on the Government to increase the pay of social care workers and nurses to at least the living wage, in recognition of their immense effort during the coronavirus pandemic.
The group of MPs have written a letter to West Suffolk MP and Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, calling on him to recognise how essential they have been over the past few months and highlight the essential work that they have been doing.
In the letter the group of MP’s said:“we believe that social care workers have shown tremendous courage and determination in their duties during the coronavirus public health emergency, despite being poorly paid relative to their value to society.
“During this crisis, social care workers have shown just how essential they are to our society.
“We urge you to recognise their immense effort and give them the pay rise they deserve”.
The letter also called on the Health and Social Care Secretary to offer staff additional death in service and sick pay benefits, reimbursement for travel between appointments, and that staff should no longer be referred to as low skilled.
So far more than 300 frontline staff have lost their lives during the outbreak.
Dr Poulter said: “Social care staff have been underpaid and undervalued for far too long.
“One in four earn less than £10 an hour, and the average employee earns just £16,400 per annum.
“This crisis offers us an unprecedented opportunity to reform our fragmented social care system, with the British public overwhelmingly supportive of a pay rise and improved working conditions for those in social care.
“These workers have gone above and beyond in their efforts to look after those in their care and have been extremely brave in the face of this hideous virus.
“The Government must recognise their sacrifice by increasing their pay to at least the living wage”.
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