Nurses and care workers on the frontline, Jeane Freeman and Jackie Baillie.
By Bill Heaney
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond, has called on the Scottish Government to pay the £120 registration fee for nurses and £35 fee for social care staff as they continue to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
She called on Jeane Freeman, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, to adopt this change during a sitting of the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.
Ms Freeman appeared willing to consider this change in fee charges in light of the work currently being carried out by nurses and social care staff.
Ms Baillie MSP said: “It is right that every Thursday night we clap to show our appreciation for all our hardworking key workers including nurses and social care workers. But they need far more than our applause.
“Our collective gratitude should, in time, be represented in a salary increase for these vital nurses and social care staff.
“But the Scottish Government has the power to immediately pay the registration fees for this year for nurses and social care staff.
“It is the least that should be done to show how much we appreciate all that these nurses and care workers are doing for us just now.
“I hope that the Scottish Government listens to my proposal and I will continue to urge Jeane Freeman to do this small thing as a first step in valuing the contribution of our nurses and care workers.
“My thanks, as ever, goes out to all of our incredible frontline staff who are fighting to keep us all safe.”
Jeane Freeman told parliament: “I am sure that Ms Baillie knows that I completely share the sentiments behind her question.
“I will be happy to look at her request, consider how we might respond to it and let her know the response in early course.”