Connecting the people of Yorkshire

No pay rise for our nurses and firefighters as Tories laugh and cheer after vote

Selby and Ainstys conservative local MP voted with the government and DUP to keep the public sector pay cap. Nigel Adams helped the government beat all of the opposition parties who had grouped together to vote for a pay increase for public sector workers. This comes after the conservatives have reached a deal with the Democratic Unionists of Northern Ireland in a new 1.5 billion deal.

via ( The Guardian) 

''Cheers rang out from Tory benches when the Commons votes were counted last night in response to Labour’s amendment to the Queen’s speech on cuts to emergency services and pay for public sector workers. Their seven-year cap on public sector pay was saved! But those whoops signalled the end of their era, a marker for historians seeking emblematic moments when a party in power (more or less), loses its grip on reality. They were cheering their own demise, whenever it may come.

Of course no government would ever vote for an opposition amendment upending its economic policy, but it was the cheers that told the story. How they roared with delight at their mere act of survival, saved by the DUP.

Nurses are always the touchstone: public spending is often counted in the number of nurses who can be hired per vanity garden bridge or empty aircraft carrier. Nurses are the bitcoin unit of public good. Only strong and stable leaders can face them down – and Theresa May is not that leader.''

Telling a nurse during the Question Time election special, whose pay has fallen back sharply, that “there is no magic money tree” was a painful exposure of her political, verbal and empathic inadequacy. Pressed by Andrew Marr about nurses using food banks, all she could say was: “There are many complex reasons why people go to food banks.” No, everyone can see the reasons are simple.

Nurses have declared a “summer of protest”, as the front line on behalf of all the public sector: their real pay has fallen by 14% since 2009. With 40,000 vacancies in England alone and many wards running at dangerously low levels, work is unbearably stretched for those who remain. Stories of nurses giving up for better paid work in supermarkets resonate with the public.

Brexit has caused a 96% slump in nurses arriving from the EU. That makes abolishing bursaries for nurse training even more perverse: applications have dropped by 23%. In exchange the government promised another 10,000 training places – but has reneged on it, according to the universities. Nurse trainees will now be paying the same fees as other students despite working for free for the NHS for a large part of their training, including nights, and weekends. No wonder a poll of RCN members warns that 91% would take industrial action. If the government is foolish enough to try to face them down and not raise public pay, it’s easy to see which side voters will take. The fear is that this government is foolish enough for almost anything.


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