Comment

Jane Bates: Three strikes and you're out

After taking on NHS Improvement over the agency ban, the RCN now has a bigger fight on its hands over nurses' dismal 1% pay rise, says Jane Bates. 
RCN_Marchers©MH_011.jpg

After taking on NHS Improvement over the agency ban, the RCN now has a bigger fight on its hands over nurses' dismal 1% pay rise, says Jane Bates

Every now and then there are a couple of news items which, for the sake of nurses' collective blood pressure, should never be allowed simultaneous media space. On this occasion, there were three.

First up was ex-chancellor George Osborne, who is not only employed to represent his constituency in parliament but has several other highly-paid jobs, one of which is a potential conflict of interest.

Then came the news that NHS Improvement intended to ban nurses from working for agencies if they have a substantive NHS post, meaning more financial hardship for nurses and less cover for the wards.

Fighting our

...

After taking on NHS Improvement over the agency ban, the RCN now has a bigger fight on its hands over nurses' dismal 1% pay rise, says Jane Bates


A former anti-austerity protest by RCN members and supporters. Picture: Mark Hakansson

Every now and then there are a couple of news items which, for the sake of nurses' collective blood pressure, should never be allowed simultaneous media space. On this occasion, there were three. 

First up was ex-chancellor George Osborne, who is not only employed to represent his constituency in parliament but has several other highly-paid jobs, one of which is a potential conflict of interest. 

Then came the news that NHS Improvement intended to ban nurses from working for agencies if they have a substantive NHS post, meaning more financial hardship for nurses and less cover for the wards. 

Fighting our corner 

The third strike was the announcement that the below-inflation 1% pay cap is set to remain for 2017-18 in England, Scotland and Wales, a totally unacceptable move and an insult given the conditions under which we work.

The RCN immediately jumped in over the agency ban and, after being shown the error of their ways, NHS Improvement backed down. At the time of writing, the RCN has just announced it will consult nurses on how it should respond to the continuing pay restraint, including whether to take industrial action.

The RCN took on NHS Improvement and won, now they must show us what they are made of by taking on the government, just as the BMA stood up for junior doctors. Put the boot in, if you must, just don't let the government get away with this. 


About the author

 

 

 

Jane Bates is an ophthalmic nurse in Hampshire 

 

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