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RCN joins call for Christmas pay rise to boost morale

Letter to prime minster from 14 unions says pay rise could boost exhausted nurses and encourage them to stay in the profession
in nurse's uniform frowning as she counts money at a cash machine

Letter to Boris Johnson from 14 unions says pay rise could boost exhausted nurses and encourage them to stay in the profession

A pay rise before Christmas would boost staff morale and might convince exhausted nurses to stay in the profession, the RCN and other leading health unions have told the prime minister.

In a letter to Boris Johnson, 14 unions that also include the Royal College of Midwives, Unison and Unite warn that staff are stressed, burned out and fearful amid a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once more NHS staff will be relied upon to protect and care for us all. But health workers are exhausted, with many still recovering from the first virus peak, the letter says.

Letter to Boris Johnson from 14 unions says pay rise could boost exhausted nurses and encourage them to stay in the profession

A nurse frowns as she counts money at a cash machine. 14 unions have sent a letter to the prime minister asking for a pay rise before Christmas
Picture: Neil O’Connor

A pay rise before Christmas would boost staff morale and might convince exhausted nurses to stay in the profession, the RCN and other leading health unions have told the prime minister.

In a letter to Boris Johnson, 14 unions that also include the Royal College of Midwives, Unison and Unite warn that staff are ‘stressed, burned out and fearful’ amid a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Once more NHS staff will be relied upon to protect and care for us all. But health workers are exhausted, with many still recovering from the first virus peak,’ the letter says.

Early pay rise would make nurses ‘feel valued by the entire country and the government’

NHS staff are due a pay rise next April, but the unions say that an early increase would help employees ‘feel valued by the entire country and the government too’ and ‘place the NHS in a better position to face the future’.

‘The pandemic has affected staff profoundly and many may not stay around when the job is done,’ the letter says.

‘Raising pay this year could persuade them to change their minds and prove attractive to thousands of much-needed potential NHS recruits,’ it continued.

Pay rise would help address nurse shortages

Unison head of health Sara Gorton
Sara Gorton

Unison head of health Sara Gorton, who chairs the group of 14 unions, called on Mr Johnson to ‘show he has a heart’ by boosting wages ahead of the festive season.

‘The NHS can’t run without its staff. They all deserve better, from porters to nurses,’ she said.

RCN acting secretary to the health unions’ group Hannah Reed said a pay rise would help address nurse shortages.

‘Paying staff fairly will show they are valued and begin to turn the corner on the record nursing and wider vacancy levels,’ she said.

Government awaiting advice from NHS Pay Review Body

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said the lowest starting salary for NHS staff had increased by more than 16% since 2018.

‘NHS staff benefit from the final year of a three-year pay deal, agreed with trade unions, which has delivered year-on-year pay increases,’ the spokesperson said

‘The independent NHS Pay Review Body makes recommendations to government on pay increases for NHS staff and we will consider their advice when we receive it’.


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