'We give so much yet we feel so undervalued': Nurse expresses 'pain' of stagnant income for 20 years

25 November 2022, 17:07

Nurse complains the NHS pay structure 'doesn't value' its workers 'as people'

Madeleine Wilson

By Madeleine Wilson

This nurse tells Shelagh Fogarty that low pay at the NHS has meant he "can't afford to save for a mortgage" after five years of living in his house.

This nurse told Shelagh Fogarty that despite his support of those that are striking, he would be taking the "moral high ground".

It comes as NHS nurses in the UK are to hold two days of strike action next month in a dramatic escalation of the pay row raging across the NHS.

The RCN said it will announce which particular NHS employers will be striking next week when formal notifications are submitted.

They said the economic argument for paying nursing staff fairly was clear when billions of pounds were being spent on agency staff to plug workforce gaps.

It added that in the last year 25,000 nursing staff around the UK left the Nursing and Midwifery Council register, with poor pay contributing to staff shortages across the UK.

It warned this was affecting patient safety.

READ MORE: 'I'm at breaking point': Nurses share why they're striking ahead of walkout

The nurse told Shelagh: "If I tell you my pay from when I qualified to what I am earning today, it is a £1500 difference. That is 20 years of continuous NHS practice."

The nurse went on to say: "I can't afford to get a mortgage.

"I've lived in my house for five years...I can't afford to save for a mortgage."

Empathising with the nurse, Shelagh said: "And yet your rental history and career qualifications and working life should be enough to get a mortgage."

Keir Starmer says nurse strike is a ‘badge of shame’ for government on visit to Birmingham

The caller told Shelagh that after their shift his colleagues who are also struggling would be attending the food bank.

Shelagh asked: "So you voted in favour of the strikes did you, but you won't actually enact it personally?"

The nurse said: No I won't enact it because it will be shut down and nothing will happen."

He later urged: "We give so much yet we feel so undervalued.

"We feel so unappreciated by the system.

"I don't want to be political but it's so painful Shelagh."

Shelagh said: "I'm afraid everything is political at some point."

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