Budget shows nurses are not valued, says RCN

The RCN and other unions have criticised the government's announcement of pay rises of just 1% per year until 2020 for public sector workers

Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to cap pay rises for nurses at 1% for the next four years shows that nurses are not valued, according to RCN general secretary Peter Carter.

The RCN and other unions have reacted with shock to Mr Osborne’s budget announcement yesterday that public sector workers will receive a 1% pay increase per year until 2020.

Dr Carter said: ‘Nurses are working harder than ever under greater pressure as demand for their care is growing and that demand is only going to increase over the years to come.

‘Nurses are already feeling the effect of what will now be a decade of severe pay restraint and subsequent reduced living standards.

‘This decision will make the situation worse as nurses realise they are not valued – the shock of this announcement will be felt by many.’

Presenting his budget to the House of Commons, Mr Osborne said ‘there is a simple trade-off between pay and jobs in many public services’ and added that despite previous pay restraint, further savings will have to be found in this parliament.

But Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said capping public sector wages will ‘hasten the reluctant exit of many dedicated staff from our hospitals, schools and local councils’.

He said: ‘The economy is growing yet public servants remain shut out of the recovery.

‘Despite bearing the brunt of austerity, they are to keep paying the price for the reckless behaviour of the banks.’

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: ‘Having faced almost a decade of collapsing wages, the millions across the public sector who keep our country running will be furious that they face a further four years of pay pain.’

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