Nurses would receive inflation-linked pay increase under Lib Dems
Nick Clegg guarantees public sector pay increases at least in line with inflation under a Liberal Democrat government
The RCN has welcomed a promise by the Liberal Democrats to increase public sector pay at least in line with inflation if it wins the general election.
Party leader Nick Clegg said public sector workers deserved to ‘see the light at the end of the tunnel’ after five years of pay restraint and to feel the benefits of economic recovery.
His pledge would mean a minimum pay rise of £350 for a nurse on £25,000, £420 for a police officer on £30,000 and nearly £500 for a teacher on £35,000 over the next two years.
RCN general secretary Peter Carter said nurses would be pleased to see the issue highlighted by politicians but added: ‘A fully independent pay review body is the fairest way to assess pay awards for NHS staff. The RCN has repeatedly highlighted the yawning gap between nurses’ pay and inflation, which increased throughout the coalition government to the point where nurses are now around 10 per cent worse off in real terms than they were in 2010.’
Labour has committed to no more ‘real terms’ pay cuts for nurses, while the Conservatives have said extra savings would not be made by freezing pay, but a balance had to be struck between staffing numbers and pay.