Nurse pay looks set for parliamentary debate after petition tops 100k signatures

Nurse pay looks set to be debated in parliament after a petition urging the government to scrap a 1% pay cap passed the 100,000 signature mark.

An online petition, started by community nurse Danielle Tiplady to force a parliamentary debate, argues that Agenda for Change staff have experienced pay restraint since 2010 and lost about 14% of their pay in real terms.

Parliament will consider a nurse pay debate after an online petition topped the required 100k mark  Photo: iStock

Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate.

Ms Tiplady told Nursing Standard: ‘Getting 100,000 signatures on the petition is marvellous news.

‘Through debating I hope the pressure mounts on the government, the awareness of the pay cap spreads in the media – and that nurses take this as a call to action to fight for our working conditions now more than ever. We all must take responsibility.’

Final push

The news follows a final push by the RCN in recent weeks urging nurses and members of the public to sign the petition.

RCN general secretary Janet Davies said: ‘This is a monumental step in our campaign.

‘Working at the centre of the NHS crisis, nursing staff are going above and beyond every single day, yet they have endured the public sector pay cap since 2010.

‘This has left them 14% worse off in real terms, and more and more of our members are telling us they are reaching breaking point.

‘This petition shows just how many people support our call to lift this pay cap once and for all. Thank you to everyone who has helped so far – it is an incredible achievement.’

Meaningful rise

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has previously signalled that pay restraint is set to continue for the 2017-2018 pay award, calling it a ‘crucial’ part of government plans to control public finances.

In September, health unions urged the NHS Pay Review Body (RB), which advises the government on NHS staff pay, to recommend a meaningful pay rise for NHS workers for the 2017-18 pay round.

The RB is expected to submit its report to ministers by the end of February.

You can continue to sign the petition here.

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