Pay restraint: time for action?

Ask any nurse what the worst part of their job is, and you’ll likely get a spread of answers. Some might cite long hours, a lack of resources, or understaffing. However, where the profession will be united nationwide is in their discontent over the continuing pay cap.

In March 2017, the NHS Pay Review Body decided to continue the 1% pay cap for NHS staff in England, leading to outrage in the nursing profession – who constitute the largest workforce in the NHS. According to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), continuing pay restraint in the NHS has led to a 14% real-terms cut in nurse pay since 2010.

‘This deals a bitter blow to nursing staff across England,’ said Janet Davies, chief executive of the RCN. ‘The nursing profession is rightly held in high regard but kind words don’t pay the bills. With this announcement, the Government will deter new people from joining the nursing profession at the very moment it is failing to retain staff and European colleagues in particular head for the door.’

Nurses, however, have not taking the decision lying down. The RCN recently conducted a ballot on NHS pay. Chair of RCN Council Michael Brown said that the 52 000 members who returned the recent pay poll had sent a strong message to Council.

Leave a Reply