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Thérèse Coffey says nurses won’t get higher pay offer

Health and social care secretary not anticipating any further increase in pay offer, while RCN head Pat Cullen warns that 'ignoring nursing staff is akin to ignoring patients’
Therese Coffey

Health and social care secretary not anticipating any further increase in pay offer, while RCN head Pat Cullen warns that 'ignoring nursing staff is akin to ignoring patients’

Health and social care secretary Thérèse Coffey has said nurses will not get a higher pay offer as they begin voting on strike action.

Ms Coffey said she would be respecting the NHS Pay Review Body’s recommended 4% pay offer and was ‘not anticipating’ increasing the offer despite the threat of industrial action.

She told Sky News this morning: ‘I understand that the ballot is now open, we’ve honoured the independent pay review body’s recommendations on this. That was higher than many of the other pay rises that other public

Health and social care secretary not anticipating any further increase in pay offer, while RCN head Pat Cullen warns that 'ignoring nursing staff is akin to ignoring patients’

Thérèse Coffey
Health and social care secretary Thérèse Coffey. Picture: Alamy

Health and social care secretary Thérèse Coffey has said nurses will not get a higher pay offer as they begin voting on strike action.

Ms Coffey said she would be respecting the NHS Pay Review Body’s recommended 4% pay offer and was ‘not anticipating’ increasing the offer despite the threat of industrial action.

She told Sky News this morning: ‘I understand that the ballot is now open, we’ve honoured the independent pay review body’s recommendations on this. That was higher than many of the other pay rises that other public sector workers are getting.

‘I’m not anticipating that we’ll be making any further changes.’

RCN criticises government over its priorities

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said it was ‘astonishing’ Ms Coffey was not listening to nurses, adding that she has her ‘head firmly in the sand’.

‘Ignoring nursing staff is akin to ignoring patients,' Ms Cullen added. ‘We have overwhelming public support for the government to do what’s fair by nursing staff and what’s needed for safe patient care.’

On Sunday Ms Cullen accused the government of caring more about bankers than nurses as she revealed she has not met with a health and social care secretary since Sajid Javid left office in early July.

Speaking on Sky News, Ms Cullen told presenter Trevor Phillips that after attending the Conservative party conference last week it was clear that the government prioritised taking care of bankers. Meanwhile nurses with vital skills are leaving the profession due to poor pay and relentless working conditions.

‘We deliver nothing in health and social care without having a nurse’

‘It does seem that those people like bankers and others are very carefully looked after,’ Ms Cullen told Sky News.

‘We heard from ministers this morning coming on this programme about how they’re going to deliver on their As, their Bs, their Cs and their Ds. And what I want to say to each and everyone of them, is that they’ll deliver on none of those if they do not understand there’s an N in the alphabet.

‘Because each one of those depend on nurses. We deliver nothing in health and social care without having a nurse, and yet they have just seemed to not understand that.’

The RCN is balloting members on potential strike action. The ballot, which runs until 2 November, asks the RCN’s 300,000 members whether they are willing to withdraw labour over the government’s pay offer of £1,400.


Find out more about the strike ballot

RCN: Industrial action strike ballot FAQs


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