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Nurses vote to challenge perception of 'gold-plated' pension


Delegates at RCN Congress voted overwhelmingly yesterday to challenge the media over the term “gold-plated” pensions.

The motion “that this meeting of RCN Congress urges council to publicly defend NHS pensions and challenge the illusion of the gold-plated pension scheme for public sector workers” was adopted by 436 votes to three with two abstentions.

Speaking in favour of the motion from the podium John Devenney, Norfolk-branch, non-voting, said: “When everything goes wrong for the fatcats suddenly they turn their fire on the publis sector, just because they have messed it up for everyone.”

John Hill, Scunthorpe-branch, non-voting, said: “What we are fighting on pensions is a war. A propaganda war being led by the media, the Taxpayers Alliance and certain political organisations. Everyone of you are in the trenches and every one of you is under attack.

“So if you see someone talking about gold-plated pensions schemes, walk up and challenge them, if you see it in a paper, write a letter of complaint to the editor.

“If we don’t fight for it then I’m sorry we are going to lose it”.


Readers' comments (4)

  • We wouldnt loose it if we had unions who had the ability and the guts to take on the fight.

    This media properganda should have been attacked by the unions and refuted years ago - nursing unions are all too polite and politically correct - to our detriment

    Yes - there are 'fat cat' pensions in the NHS - right at the very top and they pay exectutive specialist unions to protect them - not RCN subs - but it is not them who would loose out - it is the ordinary RCN member who pays their fees to representatives who roll over and let them walk all over us.

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  • Unfortunately, politicians and the press are misunderstanding the pay scales in the NHS. It made my blood boil the other day when some politician said that it is about time that public sector workers should stop getting the pensions currently offered because their pay is now very good. His assumption was based on the much smaller numbers of managers, Consultants and managerial nurses who may be on £100K plus per annum. Cerrtainly not based on the majority of nurses and other NHS workers who are on under £40k and some on considerably less than that. The pension scheme needs to be looked at as obviously, it is unsustainable but as a nurse with over 35 years under my belt I feel robbed if this is changed within my lifetime. I certainly lived with very poor pay for decades. Sadly, with the current economic crisis and for many years the mismanagement of using agency nurses who did not pay into the scheme, I presume that our pension scheme is in as much of a mess as others. Interstingly, this weeks rich list show that the rich still getting richer despite the economid slump. Many nurses live hand to mouth providing for families and other dependents and are unlikely to think about private pensions in the future. The government will then have to cope with far more people in old age who are on the poverty line. Politicians are able to fiddle their books to make money whilst in post. Nurses cannot do this. I am not even able to claim £1.20 bus fares to go to essential meetings externally, let alone for duck houses and second mortgages! I have never had an unpaid loan or debt and never lived a lavish lifestyle, because of my poor pay. At present I am a single postholder doing the work of an unfilled post as well as my own - no recompense and I will have to sacrifice some of my left over annual leave from last year as I can't find time to take it all as I have this year's quota to use too! I have been working 50 hours plus per week to still only keep the service ticking over - certainly not to the standard I would like to provide. I feel the NHS is in debt to ME for all the time and good will I have given it. Keep my pension please!

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  • Its high time the timid Unions stood up and stated very clearly how little most of their members are paid and how poor their pensions really are - just about enough to keep them above the the benefit level!

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  • Nurses are always the ones to lose out as we are seen as 'soft' targets, We spend our lives caring for others , its about time that we were cared for by those that we pay our fees to. Unions need to truely represent their members and be more proactive in protecting our interests.

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