Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (27th April 2012) added his voice to the growing concerns over changes to the pay rates of public sector workers, including NHS staff, to reflect regional differences.
Following on from the revelations that the Conservative Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, is backing plans that would see NHS staff in poorer areas of the country, such as Teesside, paid less than their counterparts in more affluent areas with the only exceptions being highly-paid managerial staff, Tom criticised the plans claiming they ‘risk the safety of patients’.
“It’s disgraceful that NHS staff in areas like Teesside, who are already suffering from a pay freeze, a traumatic and unnecessary reorganisation and budget cuts, will now face the prospect of less pay – whilst their Southern counterparts go unaffected.
“Andrew Lansley will be taking a serious risk if he railroads through these proposals. NHS staff may find themselves in a position where they have to move elsewhere to earn a decent living, which will drive down standards and risks the safety of patients.”
Sarah Hay, an NHS worker from Redcar, said:
“The plans are simply not fair. I, and my colleagues, do the same job as those NHS workers in the South yet we are being punished because the area we work in is poorer. We feel we are being seen as second rate nurses who don’t deserve the same pay as other nurses in other areas and the fact that Lansley would keep the managers on the same high pay band to retain ‘the best’ to implement the changes is just another metaphorical smack in the mouth for us.”