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Inflation is hitting nurses' pay, warns union

Unison has urged the government to improve pay for public sector workers after the huge increase in inflation this month.

Figures for July showed Consumer Price Index inflation rose 0.6% to 4.4% – the largest increase since records began.

This means that the three-year pay deal for nurses, worth just under 8% until 2011, is unlikely to keep pace with inflation.

The government has stated that it wishes to limit public sector pay rises to 2% over the next three years.

Unions are already investigating triggering a reopener clause in the deal, which gives the NHS Pay Review Body an opportunity to recommend improvements to the deal should inflation increase.

Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary, said: ‘This rise just confirms what our members have been telling us for months - they are facing unparalleled hikes in the cost of basics like milk, bread, cheese, petrol, gas and electricity.

'The government¹s unjust public sector pay policy means that teaching assistants, nurses, librarians, care workers, home carers, nursery staff and hospital cleaners are having to cope with the biggest rise in inflation since records began, on a real pay cut.

'Instead of targeting the public sector workers who keep this country running, the government should turn their firepower onto the big city bonuses and corporate fat cats who are the real villains when it comes to fueling inflation.'


Readers' comments (5)

  • The unions that we pay to act on our behalf should never have agreed to the pay award in the first place. As ever, the Government believe that nurses will not strike and so continue to offer appalling pay. This will never change until nurses do strike or until our unions do what they are paid to and fight for a decent wage for us. After 20 years in nursing, many of my friends are appalled to learn how low my pay is.
    Over the last few months I have definitely noticed the effects of the rise in inflation and do not know how some nurses, particularly those in central London, are able to manage financially. It is an utter disgrace when some nurses are unable to buy a their own home and yet MPs feel they have a devine right to own 2 at the expense of the tax payer. I defy anyone to justify that!

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  • Nurses don't have effective unions we have "debating societies"!
    After 33 years of working as a nurse in the NHS, under various governments, nurses are seen as a 'soft touch'; we have 'walk all over us, we won't retaliate' stamped on our foreheads in training and it stays with us for the duration of our careers.
    We need to get rule 12 changed and fast - and then we need to take decisive industrial action. If we don't many nurses and their families will end up living on the poverty line.

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  • The least the government can do for us in the public sector is to maybe get us discounts on public services like travel or maybe even council taxes. This may even help retain and attract people to work in the public sector. As it is now people are leaving various public sector jobs and imigrating to other countries because of the pay and the cost of living in this country.

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  • I really do hope that the union puts its money where its mouth is this time.
    I have been in nursing for about 40 years & over the course of that time have seen many "debates " about our pay & equally as many derisory pay awards.
    If we were all members of ONE union, the government would then be in a position where it had to listen to nurses.
    So come on Unison do what we pay you for......challenge this government, I for one will support you

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  • I hope that the government restrict the MP and MEP payrises to the 2% also, as they're public servants too. However I'm sure they will "opt out" when they review their pay. It angers me that they can live off our hard earned cash buying luxury items for their second home. Give them the argos book most people have to use, and get them to use regular grocery shops. We'd see greater help from the government s' "money pot" then and get our country back on the straight and narrow.

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