Sammy has backed the growing campaign for the Government to scrap the 1 per cent cap on public sector pay in the upcoming Budget. As the Commons returned from summer recess, Sammy met with frontline nurses as part of the Royal College of Nursing and its lobby of Parliament.
On Wednesday 6 September, nursing staff held a demonstration in Parliament Square and separately met MP’s to call on the Chancellor to scrap the cap in the Budget expected this autumn. Sammy heard how low pay has a detrimental impact on morale, the ability to recruit and retain nurses, and patient safety.
Since 2010, NHS nursing staff have experienced a 14 per cent real-terms pay cut as a result of Government policy on pay in the public sector- leaving pay packets £3,000 worse off each year. Frontline RCN members told Sammy that 352 nurses are affected by the pay cap in his constituency of East Antrim.
Sammy said, “Despite the pressures they are facing, nurses are the backbone of our NHS. The pay cap can’t continue if we are to keep the nurses we have, attract new recruits and ensure nursing staff can earn a decent wage.
“Understaffing in our hospitals and communities is affecting the safety of patients. It’s time for the Government to show their commitment to valuing and supporting nurses – the Chancellor’s autumn budget is an unmissable opportunity to scrap the public sector pay cap.”