Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

MPs to debate freeze on nurse pay rises today

  • 18 Comments

MPs are to debate the 1% freeze on nurse pay rises later today, following successful petitioning by campaigners.

A petition started by nurse campaigner Danielle Tiplady was subsequently signed by over 100,000 people – the threshold required on the parliament website for an issue to be considered for debate.

“We are only asking for a pay increase that keeps pace with the cost of living”

Janet Davies

Catherine McKinnell, Labour MP for Newcastle North, will lead the debate, which will be held today in Westminster Hall at 4.30pm.

However, beforehand, nurses from across England will lobby MPs to attend the debate to remove the pay rise cap for NHS staff on the Agenda for Change contract.

The lobbying efforts, which are being driven by the Royal College of Nursing, are an attempt to influence the annual salary review process for NHS staff, which currently underway for 2017-18.

After collecting evidence from unions, employers and the DH, the independent NHS pay review body will make a remuneration recommendation to ministers, who can then choose to accept or reject it.

Labour Party

MPs to debate freeze on nurse pay rises today

Catherine McKinnell

The RCN said that, due to the pay restraint enforced on all public sector staff since 2010, nurses were now 14% worse off in real terms.

The college highlighted recent analysis from the Trades Union Congress that has predicted a further salary drop of £2,500 by 2020.

Financial hardship had left many nurses struggling to support themselves forcing many to consider whether they can stay in the profession, warned the RCN ahead of the debate.

It reiterated its analysis that there were 24,000 nursing vacancies in the country and that removing the pay cap would help with staff retention and to attract more people into nursing.

“Every day we hear from our members that they are struggling with understaffing”

Jon Skewes

One nurse quoted by the RCN said: “This isn’t acceptable. It doesn’t inspire people to work for the NHS or even train to be a nurse. The way I feel at the moment, I wish I had chosen a different career.”

Another commented: “Every day I come home exhausted. My children tell me it’s affecting my health, but I need the money to cover food and clothing. I rely on pay day loans for everything else.”

Janet Davies, RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: “Nursing staff are the backbone of the health service, working under immense pressure to take care of people at their most vulnerable.

“It’s absolutely shameful these highly skilled, dedicated professionals are having to resort to food banks and pay day loans to make ends meet,” she said in a statement released ahead of the debate.

“They’re caring for the nation during a major crisis in the health service. We are only asking for a pay increase that keeps pace with the cost of living – it is the least our nurses deserve,” she added.

janet davies

janet davies

Janet Davies

In a separate statement, the Royal College of Midwives said it was calling for the NHS pay review body to “break” the government’s policy of public sector pay restraint.

The RCM noted that it has produced a briefing for MPs, as part of its own ongoing campaign to end the government’s policy of pay restraint for midwives and other public sector employees.

The four-page briefing largely summarises the RCM’s evidence submitted to the pay review body in September, when it called for an “appropriate pay award” so the NHS was able to recruit and retain staff.

The RCM also said it would like to see a return to UK-wide pay structures for the NHS, which would involve re-setting bands 4-9 of Agenda for Change to the current Scotland rates.

Jon Skewes, the RCM’s director for policy, employment relations and communications, said: “As in the past, the government is pressuring the NHS Pay review body to keep pay awards to a maximum of 1% for NHS staff.

Royal College of Midwives

Unions attack ‘ill-informed’ bursary reform plans

Jon Skewes

“They need to stop this pressure and genuinely allow the pay body the freedom to recommend pay awards,” he said. “It is utterly disgraceful to expect midwives and other public sector workers to continue to work more as their salaries steadily decreases.

“The past six years of pay restraint in the NHS have seen midwives and maternity support workers salaries drop dramatically,” he said. The value of the average midwives salary has dropped by £6,000 and if the government’s policy of pay restraint continues until 2020 that will increase to £9,000.”

He added: “We are currently 3,500 midwives short in England alone and maternity units are struggling to meet the demands of the service. Every day we hear from our members that they are struggling with understaffing and subsequently are working harder and longer hours for less and less pay, and this simply cannot continue.”

  • 18 Comments

Readers' comments (18)

  • MPs gave themselves an 11% increase with little or no fanfare after all, they get good pay rises every year, and bonuses big whoop, move along, nothing new here folks. Nurses have to have pay freezes on measly 1% its pathetic. Then they wonder why we haven't any nurses or rely on agency staff. Perhaps people wont like this but I'm going to say it anyway so here goes. When nursing went all academic to "raise its profile" and make nursing a "profession" answer me this; which other profession has earnings as low as nursing. You could run Micky Ds for more and with far less hassle and certainly none of the responsibilities.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I agree with you 100%.
    Jeremy Hunt hasn't got a clue what nursing is all about; let alone how to manage it effectively.
    Very sad that the situation has come to this.
    I used to live my job but now I am strained, spending all my days at work in trying to make ends meet hence FAMILY is neglected. And, when that happens, more problems in the society because if children who lack parental love and control.
    Vote me in, I can definitely turn that NHS around and not destroy it by Privatisation 👍

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I agree with you 100%.
    Jeremy Hunt hasn't got a clue what nursing is all about; let alone how to manage it effectively.
    Very sad that the situation has come to this.
    I used to love my job but now I am strained, spending all my days at work in trying to make ends meet hence FAMILY is neglected. And, when that happens, more problems in the society because of children who lack parental love and control.
    Vote me in, I can definitely turn that NHS around and not destroy it by Privatisation 👍cause I can see that's where it's heading

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Phillip Dunne is unfortunately my local MP. The local community hospital has lost approx 20 beds, the maternity unit had to close for several months due to staff shortages leaving pregnant women and their families to travel 30 miles to the nearest unit! He doesn't care about the NHS and i am ashamed he is my MP. I would like to see MPs work a months worth of shifts and live off a nurses wage.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The government don't understand about nursing or the health service because by and large our seniors, who should support us, tell them what they want hear.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Should debate the NMC freezing its payments and the CEO's giving back some of their enormous salary

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • In fact give all their salaries back and sack themselves

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Further to the comment above. If you can do a degree do not take up nursing. You are a fool if you do. Nurses are treated and paid appallingly.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Fret no more, nurses will be substituted by nursing associates, the NMC has prostituted itself agreeing to be the regulatory body and not defending nursing, so I'm afraid that nursing a the profession we all knew is it it's way out thanks to the government, the NMC and the unions that did not oppose all this movements and depreciation of the profession like the junior Drs, with strikes.

    Obviously I, a senior nurse for decades, do fully back the last comment. I will not recommend my worst enemy to take up nursing seeing how we are treated by everyone and paid. The poetic and altruistic view of nursing fades with time and now with these conditions ever quicker.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Sadly, the Government think that Nurses are already paid too much and have done for some time now. Expect to have more taken away (unsocial enhancements) rather than anything given above an already begrudged 1% annual uplift.
    We can be unhappy about this all we like, but I feel the opportunity for action passed some time ago, when our pensions were savaged. Now we can look forward to overpaid malcontened RNs being slowly supplemented and eventually replaced (largely) by, frankly, grateful Band 4s.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Show 1020results per page

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.