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The fight for better pay goes on, RCN says

College will continue to fight for fair pay for nurses as the 1% pay cap is set to remain in England, Scotland and Wales.
Scrap the cap

The RCN has said it will continue to fight for fair pay for nurses as the 1% pay cap is set to remain in England, Scotland and Wales.

The college called the decision to keep the pay cap in place for 2017-18 a 'bitter blow to nursing staff', while Unison dismissed the below inflation increase as 'derisory'.

RCN head of employment relations Josie Irwin told Nursing Standard: 'Clearly there is a huge amount of anger out there and that is not at all surprising.'

She added that the issue was set to be discussed at an RCN council meeting this week.

'We are in for the long haul to convince the government that a public sector pay cap doesn't work in the short term and will

The RCN has said it will continue to fight for fair pay for nurses as the 1% pay cap is set to remain in England, Scotland and Wales.


RCN head of employment relations Josie Irwin says 'there is a huge amount of anger out there'

The college called the decision to keep the pay cap in place for 2017-18 a 'bitter blow to nursing staff', while Unison dismissed the below inflation increase as 'derisory'.

RCN head of employment relations Josie Irwin told Nursing Standard: 'Clearly there is a huge amount of anger out there and that is not at all surprising.'

She added that the issue was set to be discussed at an RCN council meeting this week.

'We are in for the long haul to convince the government that a public sector pay cap doesn't work in the short term and will result in disaster in the long term for the NHS when nurses walk away – and there aren't enough now.'

Referring to the RCN's Scrap the Cap campaign, which included a lobby of MPs at parliament, she added: 'Scrap the Cap Mark II. The battle may be lost, but the war is not over.'

One per cent

Governments in England, Scotland and Wales accepted the recommendation of the independent NHS Pay Review Body (RB) to give NHS staff a 1% pay rise. No announcement has yet been made on nurse pay in Northern Ireland.

In its evidence, the RB said it had considered recommending a zero pay rise.

'The evidence of serious affordability pressures, no significant nationwide recruitment and retention issues related to pay, as well as suggestions that reducing workload pressures could have a positive impact on staff morale, made us give serious consideration to the case for a nil pay award,' the report stated.

'However, there is a consensus among all evidence providers that the negative impact on staff morale of a pay award below 1% is not worth the relatively small financial benefit.'

Strong opposition

Nurses took to social media to express their anger at the pay announcement.

The story of one nurse, who left her family home for a one-bedroom flat to cope financially, was shared on social media hundreds of times.

The unnamed nurse wrote: 'Not only have I suffered financial distress, I am now mourning the loss of my possessions and family home and memories, my lovely garden, and being near my family. For goodness sake, pay us what we are worth, not what the NHS has to save.'


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