Local nurses have added their voices to Bury North MP James Frith’s call to end the public sector pay cap, which has led to a real terms drop in wages for thousands of public sector workers in Bury since 2010.

James’ call follows a Labour motion to end the NHS pay cap which was passed unanimously this week in the House of Commons after the government abandoned attempts to block it when it became clear the motion had widespread support.

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, responding after the House of Commons unanimously approved Labour’s motion, said:

“It is welcome that the House of Commons has supported Labour’s call for fair pay in the NHS. The real question is will the Government now ignore the clear will of the House or will it take action to end the pay cap in the NHS.

“So far the Tories’ warm words for NHS staff have proved nothing more than hot air. After the unanimous result of Labour’s Opposition Day Debate, it’s time the pay cap was ended for all public sector workers including our overstretched and undervalued NHS workforce.”

Bury resident and nurse Ruth Despard, one of many local nurses who wrote to James Frith asking him to support scrapping the pay cap, said:

“I have worked as a nurse in the NHS for 19 years and it has never been worse than this. Most nurses now have two jobs as our pay just doesn’t cover the bills. Many of us are mentally and physically exhausted and considering leaving the profession.”

James Frith, writing in support of the motion to end the pay cap, said:

“The 1% cap on nursing pay is putting patient care in the NHS at risk. It’s forcing experienced staff out of the profession so there are not enough staff to care for our loved ones. Staff who stay are overstretched and undervalued and have experienced a real-terms pay cut of 14% since 2010.

“Thousands of workers across the public sector in Bury are suffering as a result of the pay cap, at a time when private sector wages are finally starting to rise. Enough is enough, it’s time we pay our public sector workers a decent living wage.”

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