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Nurses unite in silent protests over 3% pay offer

Vigils in England and Wales form part of RCN's fair pay for nursing campaign 

Vigils in England and Wales form part of RCN fair pay campaign asking for a 12.5% increase for all nursing staff

Nurses across England and Wales united in a day of silent protest to demonstrate their growing anger over pay.

From the Angel of the North in Gateshead to Fistral Beach in Cornwall, nurses bowed their heads and stood in silence in response to the government’s 3% pay deal for Agenda for Change staff.

The RCN said the respectful protest was ‘in direct contrast’ to the way nursing staff

Vigils in England and Wales form part of RCN fair pay campaign asking for a 12.5% increase for all nursing staff

Nursing staff in East Sussex were part of today’s #FairPayforNursing protests
Nursing staff in East Sussex were part of today’s #FairPayforNursing protests
Picture: Twitter

Nurses across England and Wales united in a day of silent protest to demonstrate their growing anger over pay.

From the Angel of the North in Gateshead to Fistral Beach in Cornwall, nurses bowed their heads and stood in silence in response to the government’s 3% pay deal for Agenda for Change staff.

The RCN said the respectful protest was ‘in direct contrast’ to the way nursing staff had been treated following an incredibly challenging year.

RCN says dissatisfaction over pay contributing to staffing shortages

RCN members working in the NHS in England and Wales have until 13 September to vote in the college’s ballot on whether the 3% rise for 2021-22 is acceptable or not.

The silent vigils are part of the RCN’s Summer of Action which has seen nurses across the country take part in demonstrations and other events to campaign for fair pay.

The RCN is calling for a fully funded 12.5% increase for all nursing staff and claims dissatisfaction over pay and lack of recognition is contributing to widespread staffing shortages.

Inflation expected to rise and 3% deal effectively a pay cut, says college

The latest statistics from NHS Digital data shows that as of June this year, there were 38,952 nursing vacancies in the NHS in England, up from 34,678 in March.

RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen said: ‘The voice of nursing has been ignored for such a long time and many in the profession are now lost for words at how ministers are treating them.

‘Politicians who see our members standing vigil today should realise it’s not too late to change their minds – but they have to be willing to start the conversation.’

Increase in national insurance contributions will hit nurses’ wage packets

With inflation expected to rise to 3.7% by the end of this year, the RCN maintains the 3% deal is effectively a pay cut.

Meanwhile, the government has announced an increase to national insurance contributions to fund social care in England and help the NHS recover from the pandemic, which will also hit nurses’ wage packets.

The Department for Health and Social Care was contacted for comment.

A quick guide to next year’s tax changes

  • From April 2022 UK employees, employers and the self-employed will pay 1.25% more tax
  • For a nurse on a salary of around £30,000 per year, that equates to around £255 extra per year
  • The government says the changes should raise £12 billion a year, which will initially go towards easing pressures on the NHS and then fund social care. The sum includes £2.2 billion for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • The RCN described the plan as ‘yet another blow’ and warned social care staff on low wages would be among the hardest hit

Source: GOV.UK (2021) National Insurance



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