MP COLUMN: Suggested pay rise for nurses is a disgrace

Monday of this week marked International Women’s Day.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 7:00 am
Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck.

Wansbeck has a wonderful tradition of female activism and empowerment as symbolised by the statue of Emily Wilding Davison in Morpeth, a constituent and hero of the suffragette movement.

Women are more likely to be furloughed or work in shutdown sectors, more likely to have taken on extra caring responsibilities, and are more vulnerable to losing their jobs.

Women also make up 90 per cent of the nurses in this country, who have worked so incredibly hard to keep this country afloat over the past 12 months.

The suggested 1% pay increase the government has put forward for nurses after their efforts this year is a disgrace, and in real terms is in fact a pay cut.

It is sickening yet sadly no surprise that after being pictured clapping on their doorsteps for our NHS heroes, the government have now turned their backs on them.

Domestic violence against women is on the rise while support when they need it is in decline – the number of cases of domestic abuse trebled in 2020 compared with 2019.

The response to the pandemic must appreciate the unique effect it has had on women.

This must include reinstating gender pay gap reporting, modernising equal pay legislation and giving NHS nurses the real pay rise they deserve.

Thank you to all the women in Wansbeck who have helped and persevered over this past year, and I will continue to fight to ensure you get the justice and recognition you deserve.

Ian Lavery, Wansbeck MP