Speaking this week in Parliament, local MP Huw Merriman welcomed the offer of a 6% per cent pay rise over the next three years for NHS staff and called for an increase in pay for teachers in East Sussex.
Speaking first on education, the MP for Bexhill and Battle said “Pay rises for teachers in schools in my constituency would be most welcome, but there is a concern that those rises will have to be met from the increase in funding that was delivered to schools in the summer. Are there plans, like there are with the NHS, to find a budget outside the existing school funding formula for those pay rises?” In response, the Secretary of State for Education, Damien Hinds, reassured the local MP that “the Teachers’ Pay Review body was deliberating at the moment” on the levels of pay rises and that “an additional £1.3bl has been found for school budgets.”
Welcoming the announcement of a pay offer for NHS staff, and turning to their working conditions, Mr Merriman said “Efficiency and productivity deserve to be rewarded and, with a 16% increase in emergency admissions, the NHS professionals absolutely have earned theirs. With this new working relationship, can I ask the Secretary of State if he now sees a possibility for both staff and Government to work in partnership to challenge patients to be more respectful to those who work in the Health Service?” Replying, the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, thanked the MP for raising the issue, referencing that “He often raises difficult issues that actually need to be raised. We all know the vast majority of patients are incredibly grateful for the care they get from NHS professionals, but occasionally that doesn’t happen and occasionally people use services that they don’t need to use, creating pressures and denying other patients what they need. So he is absolutely right that as we start to really expand NHS capacity we need the public to understand their responsibilities as well.”
Mr Merriman had earlier made a further plea in the House of Commons for both the Government and opposition parties to work together to reform the provision of social care to the elderly and vulnerable. Responding, the Health Secretary praised Mr Merriman saying “He speaks very thoughtfully on this matter, and it is important, because social care issues will continue for decades ahead unless we find a solution and both parties will have to deal with this issue in government. In truth, both parties have made things worse by politicking in the past.”
Speaking after the debate the MP said “I am really pleased for our NHS workers that they will be receiving a well-deserved pay rise. This deal is being funded by the Government outside of the overall NHS budget. This also needs to be the model for well-deserved pay rises for teachers and staff in our schools. It will not work for all of us to have lobbied for extra schools funding, which I have welcomed, only for schools to have to use this to look after their staff. I will be writing to the Chancellor, and meeting our school heads, to lobby for more to be done.