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19.12.17

Nurses repeat call for pay rise in line with inflation

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has repeated its calls for a pay rise in line with inflation.

In its submission to the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB), the RCN has also proposed an £800 flat rate increase for Agenda for Change contracts.

The proposal aims to recover lost earnings over the past seven years, during which time, the RCN says nursing pay has fallen 14% behind the cost of living.

The union has submitted its evidence to the PRB, drawing on its recent employment survey, which revealed that 24% of nursing staff are considering leaving their job due to financial pressures.

Years of pay restraint have left nurses feeling angry and demoralised, the RCN has said, resulting in severe nursing shortages, and unless fair pay demands are met, the union says that the exodus of staff will continue, as nursing becomes a less attractive industry for workers.

The college has also argued that pressures are negatively affecting patient care, with 80% of nursing staff surveyed expressing concerns that staffing levels at their place of work are insufficient to meet patient needs.

RCN chief executive, Janet Davies, said: “The NHS has been running on the goodwill of nursing and other staff for far too long.

“This goodwill cannot last indefinitely, and we look to the pay review body to make a recommendation which both acknowledges the sacrifices made by NHS staff, and the economic necessity of a meaningful pay rise.

“With at least 40,000 nursing posts currently vacant in England alone, the NHS cannot afford to haemorrhage any more nursing staff.”

The college has stated that any pay award should not be linked to improvements in productivity, arguing that it would be difficult for staff to be more productive than they already are, with so many working extra hours without pay.

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