'Scrap the Pay Cap' - Maureen Weaver

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The doctors, nurses and staff I worked alongside in the NHS are some of the most hardworking and dedicated people I know. 

Every day they work long shifts in difficult conditions looking after people in their hour of need. The very minimum they deserve is a decent salary for their work and the government that we have in Wales needs to get rid of the pay cap to give them the salary they deserve.

I was a nurse in the NHS for 42 years and in that time a lot changed. Nurses have a lot of responsibility. They go through years of training, and are accountable to patients, managers and the Nursing and Midwifery Council for their work. They deserve a decent pay rise that shows that the government values the work they do. It’s no good having ministers on the television saying that they value the hardworking staff of the NHS when they’re responsible for keeping their pay down. They need to scrap the pay cap and give NHS staff decent salaries.

When people think of the NHS they think of doctors and nurses, but they don’t always think of the porters or cleaning staff that are on lower pay bands, or the newly qualified nurses that are on small salaries. At the moment all NHS staff have their pay increases capped at 1%. When you compare that with the rising cost of living, that’s nothing. I know of nurses who are forced to use food banks because they can’t afford to meet the cost of living. That’s a national scandal and the government should hang its head in shame.

Nursing is a caring profession, but no one cares for the nurses. Just like the firefighters or social care workers, these are people who spend every day looking after others, but they are being short-changed by governments in London and in Cardiff. If the Labour government in Cardiff Bay is serious about valuing nurses then it needs to do what the Scottish Government has done and the UK Government is getting ready to do: it needs to scrap the pay cap and give NHS staff a decent pay rise.

If you agree with Maureen that it's time the pay cap was lifted, click here to sign our petition.

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