Profession falls behind in pay rise comparison

The RCN says nurse pay has been cut by 9.6% in real terms 

Nurses in the UK endured a 9.6% real terms pay cut between 2008 and 2014, new research by the RCN shows.

The college analysed nurses' weekly earnings and retail prices index figures from the Office for National Statistics for the period and says that nurse pay has fallen behind inflation. 

Weekly earnings for nursing staff in the NHS and other health and social care settings have lost ground on the general population too, it says. 

Nurse pay rose by 12% between 2008 and 2014, compared to 20% for the wider population working full time. 

The college has urged chancellor George Osborne to take note of the figures, ahead of publication of the comprehensive spending review on Wednesday. 

The government has committed to only funding NHS pay increases that average out to an extra 1% a year for the workforce until 2020, but the RCN says this 1% will not make up for the loss of earnings nurses have faced. 

RCN general secretary Janet Davies said: ‘Pay offers since 2012 have either been a freeze or a 1% rise. Every one has represented a pay cut in real terms. 

‘Restraining pay while demand increases is a false economy, making it harder to retain staff and forcing many to work for agencies just to make ends meet.’ 

The Department of Health did not provide a comment.


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