Rishi Sunak has defended the pay freeze for 2.6 million frontline workers as “fair and proportionate.” The Chancellor sparked anger by failing to mention the pay of workers in the public sector in his Budget speech. As it stands, millions of teachers, police and other frontline staff will be hit by the squeeze. But at a press conference after the Budget, Mr Sunak claimed the freeze was “fair.” The Mirror’s Graham Hiscott asked: “What do you say to those who have labelled it an insult that there’s no pay rise for many thousands of public sector workers who have been on the front line during the pandemic…announced by you today?” Mr Sunak replied: “This was something that I addressed in the spending review back in November when we talked about pay for the next year. “ He went on: “When I was looking at all the numbers, what I saw was in the private sector, wages were falling, people were having their hours cut, many were furloughed - and sadly almost 3/4 of a million people … [Read more...] about Rishi Sunak defends pay freeze for frontline workers as ‘fair and proportionate’
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A recommended 1% pay rise for NHS workers has been called "pitiful and bitterly disappointing" by nursing union leaders who said the government was "dangerously out of touch" with health staff. The figure, which covers 2021 and 2022, is contained in a Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) document for the NHS Pay Review Body. A section read: "The government announced a pause in public sector pay rises for all workforces, with an exception for employees with basic full-time equivalent salaries of £24,000 or under and for the NHS. "In settling the DHSC and NHS budget, the government assumed a headline pay award of 1% for NHS staff. Anything higher would require re-prioritisation." The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said a pay award "as poor as this" would mean only an extra £3.50 per week take home pay for an experienced nurse. Advertisement "Nursing staff would feel they are being punished and made to pay for the cost of the pandemic . It is a … [Read more...] about Recommended 1% pay rise for NHS staff labelled ‘pitiful’ by nursing union
A new type of malaria control has significantly brought down infection rates among children in the Ivory Coast in western Africa, according to new research published in The Lancet . The device , developed by Dutch researchers and trialed over two years in combination with the use of window screens and insecticide-coated b ed nets, was found to lower the incidence of malaria by around 40-50% in children aged between six months and 10 years old. "Any reduction would be great, but something as significant as 40 to 50% is substantial — particularly in high-burden countries like Cote d'Ivoire," said Jaishree Raman, a professor at the Institute of Sustainable Malaria Control at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, who was not involved in the study. Malaria — a disease transmitted from person to person by infected Anopheles mosquitoes — is still one of the world's deadliest infectious diseases, causing more deaths than all other parasitic … [Read more...] about Malaria: Infections halved in children in Ivory Coast using new technology
NHS Covid heroes have been dealt a “kick in the teeth” as the government proposed a pay award of just 1%. The figure, branded 'the worst kind of insult' by furious unions, amounts to a real terms pay cut in 2021/22 when inflation is factored in. It comes a day after Rishi Sunak faced furyfor not including any cash in the Budget for staff who were crucial to keeping Britain going through the pandemic. A Department of Health And Social Care document issued today reads: “In settling the DHSC and NHS budget, the government assumed a headline pay award of one per cent for NHS staff. “Anything higher would require re-prioritisation.” Health workers are in the final year of a three year pay deal - which took eight years of pay freezes to negotiate. Staff are due to get a 0.7% pay rise next month, which the Government say isn't included in the 1% assumption. But the Government have to wait until Spring until pay review bodies return their reports to find out what they can … [Read more...] about NHS Covid heroes get ‘kick in the teeth’ as Government offers 1% pay rise
The EU's vaccination drive has been a bumpy ride - but its rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab has been especially so. In November, the European Commission celebrated its plan for a common approach, heralding the creation of a "health union" along with its deal to purchase at least 300 million doses from the British-Swedish drugmaker. This deal came with the option of purchasing another 100 million doses for its 450 million citizens. Four months later, however, and the bloc's programme has been beset with shortages and delays , and has prompted a very public and very bitter row with the pharmaceutical company. It then almost resulted in a nuclear option - triggering Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol, before peaking again on Thursday when the commission blocked a shipment of vaccines bound for Australia. Advertisement So - how did we get here? More from Covid-19 COVID-19: Cyprus to allow vaccinated Britons to … [Read more...] about AstraZeneca’s jab has had a bumpy rollout in the EU – but how did it play out?