NHS and care workers ‘richly’ deserve a pay rise for their ‘selflessness and determination’ during the Coronavirus crisis, the Labour MP for Coventry South has told Parliament.
Zarah Sultana made the call during a debate on health and care workers’ rewards and recognition.
She began her speech thanking “each and every health and care worker” in Coventry South, adding: “They have gone over and above to keep us all healthy, and I know I speak on behalf of the whole city of Coventry when I say: thank you.”
The debate was held after hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions calling for NHS staff to be rewarded and recognised, including 417 people in Coventry South.
In her speech, Ms Sultana criticised the undervaluing of NHS and social care workers, highlighting that newly qualified nurses faced an eight per cent pay cut since 2010, that around half of social care workers are paid less than the real living wage, and that there had been shortages of personal protective equipment for staff.
She went on to highlight particular problems facing NHS and care workers in Coventry, calling for an abolition of ‘obscene’ parking charges at University Hospital Coventry which in some cases cost almost £500 a year for staff.
Ms Sultana concluded: “I urge the government, who clapped for them through this crisis, to match that with action. Give our carers, nurses, porters and cleaners a real pay rise and end poverty wages in the NHS and care work.”
After her speech, she added: “NHS and social care staff in Coventry have got us through this crisis. Now the Government should properly reward them.
“It should ensure no-one working in the NHS or social care is paid less than the real living wage and no-one is on a precarious contract.”