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MPs to vote on public sector pay cap in Queen's speech debate

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The cap on nurses’ and other public sector workers’ pay will be voted on in Parliament today as MPs meet to discuss amendments to the Queen’s speech.

When Queen Elizabeth spoke to the House of Commons on 21 June from a speech drafted by Theresa May’s Conservative government, it was blasted by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) for ‘scarcely mentioning’ nurses or the 1% yearly cap on their pay rises which has held wages below inflation for the past seven years.

READ MORE: Queen's speech criticised for 'scarcely mentioning' nurses or pay cap

As MPs meet to vote on amendments to the speech today (28 June), Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has overseen the submission of a motion to address the pay cap in a way it was not in the original speech.

The amendment suggests the speech add at the end: ‘…but respectfully regret that the Gracious Speech fails to […] further call on the Government to end the public sector pay cap and give the emergency and public services a fair pay rise.’

READ MORE: 'Summer of protest' begins with nurses engaged in nationwide action

Protest action led by the RCN began on 27 June, with nursing staff out in force calling for a scrapping of the cap. Action will continue across the summer, with the possibility of a strike ballot looming if the cap is not lifted.

RCN chief executive Janet Davies said: ‘Hours after nursing staff have staged protests in thirty towns across the UK, MPs will have the first opportunity to show they are listening.

READ MORE: 'Enough is enough': Survey shows nurses going without food to feed children

‘The protests will have left Theresa May in little doubt over nurses’ fears for the safety of their patients and why this cap on pay must go.’

Debate on the Queen’s speech may run on until 7pm tonight.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

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