Stop paying nurses a pittance, says nurse classmate of Theresa May

A nurse who was at school with prime minster Theresa May has warned the government must stop paying nurses a ‘pittance’.
Philippa Morrison and Theresa May

A nurse who was at school with the prime minster has warned the government must stop paying nurses a ‘pittance’.

Philippa Morrison (left) and 15-year-old Theresa May when they attended
Holton Park Grammar School in Wheatley, Oxfordshire. Picture: SWNS

Philippa Morrison said the situation for nurses was ‘untenable’ following seven years of the 1% cap on public sector pay.

Ms Morrison, a nurse for more than four decades, was two years above Theresa May at Holton Park Grammar School in Wheatley, Oxfordshire.

Forced to go to food banks

She told the Mirror that exhausted nurses should not be forced to go to food banks because their pay was so poor.

Ms Morrison held a solo protest by the Edith Cavell Memorial in London on 30 August urging people to support the upcoming rally by the RCN as part of its ongoing scrap the cap campaign.

Ms Morrison, who works in the lung unit at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, said: ‘We're exhausted, we're overwrought, we work over 12-hour shifts.

‘Demoralised and devalued’

‘If I could say one thing to my old classmate the prime minister, it would be that we are demoralised and devalued; we don't feel the respect is there anymore.’

She added: ‘Mrs May knows that nurses don't want to strike. We are nurturers – we want to look after people. She should let us do that without having to rely on food banks to make ends meet.’

Eight out of ten respondents to an RCN pay poll said they are prepared to take strike action over the government’s approach to their pay.

The RCN is running a summer of protest over the issue, culminating in the rally at Parliament Square on Wednesday 6 September.

‘Deserve better pay’

Ms Morrison is supporting the rally and said her younger colleagues deserved better pay.

‘They have degrees and they are being paid a pittance and because of the low pay and lack of recruitment, we are getting fewer people,’ she said.

‘Someone has got to stand up and say the problem will be tackled. Nurses need to be valued.’

RCN general secretary Janet Davies said Ms Morrison will be one of thousands demanding change and protesting outside the Houses of Parliament.

‘The government must scrap the pay cap that stands in the way of a safe NHS.’

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