‘It’s an insult’: Sheffield nurse issues demand after NHS staff in Scotland offered 4% pay rise

A Sheffield nurse has demanded a better pay deal for NHS staff in England after it was revealed that their counterparts in Scotland are to get a much bigger increase.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 7:56 am

Joan Pons Laplana, who is a registered nurse and UNISON rep at Northern General Hospital, was reacting to the news that the Scottish Government would offer all NHS staff north of the border a 4 per cent pay rise this year.

This would mean that the average pay for a front line nurse in Scotland would rise by £1,200 per year, on top of the £500 ‘thank you’ bonus they have already been given for their work during the pandemic.

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Joan Pons Laplana is a nurse and union rep at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield.

Mr Laplana said the Scottish rise - as well as similar increases given to nurses in Wales and Northern Ireland - made the 1 per cent for English nurses look like ‘an insult’ and called on the Government to rethink its offer.

He said: “In Scotland it is not just a 4 per cent rise - they have a bonus as well. And in Wales and Northern Ireland. The only nurses who have nothing but clapping are the ones in England.

“I think it says a lot about the Government’s priorities when they spend billions on test and trace yet they won’t give nurses a pay rise.

“We are not asking for much but we want something that reflects our skills and knowledge. We don’t just give tablets out and follow orders any more.

“To give us a 1 per cent rise when the inflation rate is forecast to be 1.9 per cent is unfair and an insult.

“Unison are asking for a pay rise of £2,000 for everyone. This would be a thank you for what we have done in the last year and to make up for the real time cuts the profession has put up with over the last 10 years.”

The UK Government earlier this month announced a 1 per cent pay rise for all English nurses, significantly less than the 2.1 per cent increase NHS England had reportedly budgeted for.

The decision was criticised by nurses groups and opposition parties, but health secretary Matt Hancock said it was all the country could currently afford.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.