Healthcare workers, teaching assistants and paramedics are quitting their jobs to find better-paying positions in supermarkets, a union has warned.
UNISON chief Christina McAnea said a third of NHS employers are now providing food banks to staff as a generational cost of living crisis squeezes UK households.
“Nearly 30% of NHS employers now provide food banks for their staff, with a further 20% planning to set them up,” McAnea told the “Committee Corridor”, the podcast for select House of Commons committees.
The UNISON boss reported that more and more people in higher income brackets such as £30-40,000 are asking for help as the cost of living crisis worsens, adding that he These were people the union would never have heard of before.
Read more: The UK regions most affected by the food crisis
McAnea called for these essential professions, including carers and assistants with special needs, to be better valued and recognized for their contribution to society at large.
This could include more structured career paths to improve retention and save employers recruitment and training costs in areas with high turnover.
Nurses have voted to strike with the majority of NHS employers in a row over wages, the Royal College of Nursing has announced.
Industrial action is expected to begin before the end of this year and the MRC’s mandate to organize strikes runs until early May 2023, six months after members finish voting.
RCN General Secretary Pat Cullen said: “Anger has become action – our members say enough is enough. The voice of nursing in the UK is strong and I will make sure it is heard. Our members will no longer tolerate a financial knife at home and a raw deal at work.
“Ministers need to look in the mirror and ask themselves how long it will take nursing staff to get through this. As we plan our strike action, next week’s budget is an opportunity for the UK government to signal new direction with serious investment. Politicians across the country have the power to stop this now and at any time.
“This action will be as much for the patients as for the nurses. The standards are too low and we have strong public support for our campaign to raise them. This winter, we ask the public to show the nursing staff that you are with us.
Tory MP Greg Smith, a member of the Transport Committee, used the podcast to highlight the difficulties hauliers face in recruiting and retaining long-haul lorry drivers, many of whom leave for better pay and jobs. hours of supermarket truck driving.
He also witnessed firsthand the lack of conditions at the roadside washing facilities that these workers have to use.
Read more: Lidl named UK’s cheapest supermarket
“We saw tiles falling from the walls. We saw mold. We saw faucets that didn’t work. Changing areas that you really didn’t want to change into…we need to up our game as a country on these roadside facilities.
Education Committee Labor MP Ian Mearns said that while overall education budgets had increased, funding per child had not kept up with inflation, but for teachers, “the pay is obviously the biggest concern”.
Look: Cost of living: Household grocery bills ‘rise by almost £40’ in a month