“We clapped for them – now reward them” Coventry MP calls for pay rise for NHS workers

Coventry MP Zarah Sultana called for NHS and care workers to receive a pay rise “they so richly deserve”.

Pictured: Zarah Sultana MP in the House of Commons during the debate on reward and recognition for NHS and social care workers.

Zarah Sultana, Labour MP for Coventry South, on Thursday in Parliament called for NHS and care workers to receive a pay rise “they so richly deserve” after their “selflessness and determination” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Sultana made the call during a debate on health and care workers rewards and recognition. She began her speech thanking “each and every health and care worker” in Coventry South.

She continued, “they have gone over and above to keep us all healthy and I know I speak on behalf of the whole city of Coventry when I say: thank you.”

The debate was held after hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions calling for NHS to be rewarded and recognised, including 417 people in Coventry South.

In her speech, Ms Sultana criticised the undervaluing of NHS and social care workers, highlighting that the newly qualified nurses faced an 8% pay cut since 2010.

She went on to highlight particular problems facing NHS and care workers in Coventry, including the “obscene parking charges at University Hospital Coventry” which in some cases cost almost £500 a year for staff.

These charges have been temporarily suspended during the crisis, but are expected to return after the pandemic, with plans for a new, dedicated car park for staff at University Hospital Coventry having just been approved.

Ms Sultana ended her speech telling the Government Minister, “you clapped for them through this crisis. Now match that with action. Give our nurses, carers, porters, cleaners a real pay rise and end poverty wages in the NHS and care work.”

After her speech, Ms Sultana commented: “NHS and social care staff in Coventry have got us through this crisis. Now the Government should properly reward them.

“It should ensure no-one working in the NHS or social care is paid less than the real living wage and no-one is on a precarious contract. At the very least, we should also start by restoring cuts to pay – like for nurses who’ve seen an 8% pay cut in real terms since 2010.”