A nurse has said a 1% pay rise would be a “kick in the teeth” for colleagues who have worked tirelessly to save lives during the pandemic.
Registered nurse Michelle Elliott said front line staff had donned PPE, witnessed death day-in, day-out and some had even paid with their lives for the job they loved.
She felt the public clapping for the NHS during the pandemic had lifted morale at the time, but that now the issue was to support staff by offering them a better deal.
Mrs Elliott, 40, from Chester-le-Street, County Durham, told the PA news agency: “You don’t get into this job for the money, but this is the issue on the table at the moment.
“It is a huge kick in the teeth particularly for those who have slogged their guts out for the last year.
“Nurses have worked harder than ever before and to come out with a 1% offer is heartbreaking.”
She works 37.5 hours a week and juggles being a mother-of-two with studies as she trains to become a health visitor.
Mrs Elliott, a Band 5 nurse earning around £27,000, said: “I do my job because I care and I just want to make people’s lives better.
“I work with children and families to give children the best start in life.
“People might have the impression that nursing is about bed-making and bed pans but the roles are very varied, it’s not Florence Nightingale any more.
“Some are prescribing drugs, you have got to have got to be good with figures, think outside the box, have emotional intelligence, counsel people – it’s not an easy job.
“The NHS has worked incredibly hard, people on the front line and those running the teams are all working incredibly hard.”
She added: “They are the ones putting on the PPE and witnessing death day in, day out – they deserve more.
“They deserve to be recognised, not just given a shout-out during Boris Johnson’s updates on the TV.”