Welsh nurses urge MPs to end the public sector pay cap

RCN Wales held a breakfast briefing for MPs and peers at Westminster to voice opposition to the public sector pay cap

Welsh nurses took their fight to have the public sector pay cap lifted to the heart of government this week.

RCN Wales director Tina Donnelly vowed to continue the fight to see the pay cap lifted

RCN Wales held a breakfast briefing with MPs and peers in the Westminster parliament to press the case for an end to pay rises of no more than 1% for NHS staff.

The UK government has set a 1% cap on public sector pay rises until 2019-20. 


Pontypridd MP Owen Davies hosted the event and 13 MPs and two peers attended to hear opposition to the policy. 

As part of its scrap the cap campaign, RCN Wales board members, staff and supporters, including RCN Wales nurse of the year Sian Thomas and RCNi nurse of the year Melanie Davies, also spoke to passers-by outside parliament. 

RCN Wales director Tina Donnelly, who spoke at the briefing, said: ‘The event was a great success. Those MPs and peers who attended were left in no doubt about the detrimental impact that the 1% pay cap has had on the lives of our members.

‘RCN Wales will continue in its fight to see the cap lifted and members of the nursing family – said to be the most trusted professionals in Britain – given a fair deal on pay.

Patient safety

‘This cap on pay is having a significant effect on nurse recruitment and retention and we are concerned that this is having an impact of patient safety. It is imperative that the cap is scrapped – and soon.’

RCN general secretary Janet Davies also spoke at the meeting. 

In March, the Welsh government accepted a recommendation by the independent NHS pay review body to give all Agenda for Change staff a 1% pay increase. 

At the end of last month, Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething wrote to health minister Jeremy Hunt calling for the UK government’s public sector pay cap to be lifted. 

Deserve pay rise

Mr Gething wrote: ‘The UK government found more than £1billion to effectively end austerity in Northern Ireland. 

‘I fully expect them to make money available so that we can give our hardworking health service staff the pay rise they deserve.’

The UK government has been under pressure to lift the cap, but Downing Street has insisted that its position on public sector pay has not changed. 

RCN Wales is planning more events during the summer and a postcard campaign so the public can alert MPs to their opposition to the pay cap.

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