GMB blasts 'bungling' Jeremy Hunt after he proves he doesn't know nurses' wages on national TV
'Out of touch' health secretary gets sums wrong as he tries to defend pay pinch.
GMB, the union for health and care workers, has slammed the Health Secretary after he made false claims about nurses' pay on national TV.
Jeremy Hunt was defending the Government’s 1% pay cap policy that has driven nurses to use food banks on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday (07 May 2017).
He said the average pay for nurses was £31,000, excluding shift allowances and overtime.
Figures quietly slipped out by the NHS on Friday (05 May 2017) estimate the average basic pay for ‘nurses, midwives and health visiting staff’ was £31,215 in December 2016 – up from £29,283 in May 2010.
However, official ONS figures calculated on the same basis show that the average salary is at least £31,900 – significantly higher than average earnings for nurses.
GMB analysis of the new NHS figures shows that, on average, nurses’ salaries have fallen by up to £3,763 (or 11%) in real terms between May 2010 and December 2016.
Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary, said:
“Jeremy Hunt should immediately apologise to nurses and other members of NHS staff.
“His comments are not just hopelessly out of touch – they’re factually incorrect.
“Nurses have lost thousands in lost earnings under this Government and the situation is set to get even worse.
“There can be no defence for driving public servants into debt and relying on foodbanks – none.
“Jeremy Hunt’s bungled attempt to spin the numbers is an insult to all our dedicated members in the NHS who aren’t getting fair rewards for their efforts.
“Theresa May’s public sector pay policy is even worse than under Thatcher and Major.
“She talks about helping ordinary working families, but she has done nothing for over five million public sector workers.
“Enough is enough - it's time to give our public servants the real pay rise they deserve."