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Protecting jobs valued more than pay increases


Nearly half of nurses would sacrifice a pay rise to protect their jobs, our exclusive survey has revealed.

In total, 44 per cent said they would go without a pay rise to save their job. For nursing directors the figure was 67 per cent and for nurse consultants it was 53 per cent.

The group least likely to sacrifice pay were midwives, of whom only 27 per cent said they would be prepared to do so to protect their jobs.

The government has already announced it is freezing the pay for two years of all public sector workers earning above £21,000. For NHS staff that applies only to the annual increase for inflation, not their progress up Agenda for Change increments.

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Just 4 per cent or nurses said they would agree to take a pay cut. For directors, the figure was 13 per cent. One in seven said they would consider going part time if it kept them in employment and a significant minority - 18 per cent - said they would retrain.

Just 2.5 per cent said they would be prepared to see a cut in their pension package. That comes as the government has indicated it might cut NHS pensions in light of the tough financial climate.

Thirty-eight per cent said they were not prepared to sacrifice anything.

King’s College London national nursing research unit deputy director Jill Maben said the findings reflected significant concern over job security which could damage care if not managed well.

She said: “I think there’s every chance that how staff are feeling at work, how they’re cared for, how they’re managed, how they’re led, will affect staff members, teams and patients.”

More than three quarters said they had been asked to make trade-offs to protect jobs. One in 10 had been asked to work flexibly and 3 per cent had taken on a different job to avoid redundancy.


Readers' comments (11)

  • This just goes to show how unbelievably short sighted Nurses can be.

    Yes I know it is easy to have morals and ideals, but this changes when the reality of the mortagage payments etc come in.

    However, would you see a Doctor or a GP putting up with suggestions of a pay cut or the sack?

    No, it is Nurses willingness to bend over and take it that has led to the poor treatment we get.

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  • I agree Mike. This is the oldest corporate strategy in the book. First, they tell us there will be no pay rise but then they come back with one lower than last year and ask us, 'aren't we lucky they found some money?' Then they tell us there will be no rise at all and they ask us, 'aren't you glad you have a job?' Anyone whose head bobs up and down and acquiesces to that brainwashing doesn't know his or her own value - and that makes one very easy to walk all over.

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  • OMG have the vast majority of nurses had "Please walk all over me" tatooed on their foreheads?

    Stop being so lily-livered and demand that your unions take positive action to ensure that this pay cut does not become a reality!!!!!

    WE NEED TO STRIKE! Both for our patients and the future of our profession.

    Come on grow a spine - demand STRIKE ACTION - NOW!!!!!

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  • Words fail me,!!

    And alas it grieves me to say it again but:
    UK Nurses have only themselves to blame if this is accepted.
    So either do something about it or stop whinging on every article on here.
    Whats that saying?
    Action speaks louder than words.

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  • Yvonne, seriously, I'm in shock too. Bloody spineless cowards the ones who wouldn't strike! Saying that though I still have a suspicion the true number may be significantly higher.

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  • Martin Gray

    Remember that the number of nurses that responded to the survey was very small considering the number working in the profession. Mike may well be right about the true number being significantly higher; smetimes the main problem is lack of leadership, and I believe this is the case with nursing.

    I have to agree that, in the current financial climate, having a job is more important than a pay rise. However it is the cost of living that is devaluing our pay, and hikes in utility bills, travel costs due to petrol taxation, etc. do nothing to ease the pressure we all feel on our purse strings. Perhaps the government should start looking at other areas where money can be saved, such as benefits and immigration.

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  • You are absolutely right about the small number of respondents and the lack of leadership in Nursing Martin. I am seriously dissapointed in the apathy and cowardice in this profession though. It is truly pathetic.

    I think though that instead of viewing any demands for increase in pay as a pay rise, we should start to think of it in terms of simply bringing the pay up to a level that our skills/knowledge/education and level of responsibility DESERVES, I mean if we were simply in line with other key sector workers that would be an improvement. I don't agree that the threat of losing jobs should deter people from demanding that. You are absolutely right that there are better areas to save money in, but I won't get on my soapbox about that or we'll be here all night! Ha!

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  • Would you see consultants taking a pay cut or elective surgeons doing extra lists for nothing = mmm no I dont think so, so why should nurses & midwives take a pay cut or do even more? All I know is I shall be out at 55, 5 years earlier than I predicted as I have seen enough, heard enough & am fed up with what we are expected to do.I do hope that the nurses of the future undertake a module of how to do an action plan, bar graph & colour your box and dont forget how to deliver safe empathetic care. Will the chief exec, DON/Mid, Chief operating officers, communication officers, dir of strategy, director of performance, head of PPI, medical director, HR director etc etc take a pay cut too - I wonder :-)

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  • I am sick of nurses playing the 'martyrdom' card. why do they fall for this obvious rubbish! Its the governments way of playing a game to divide and rule. Don't accept anything. fight for your rights. Until we start standing together the profession will never move forward as much as it should. What about politicians? would they take a pay cut?? absolutely not! I really wished nursing was predominately male. I dont think we would have this problem.

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  • when are any of you going to actually do something about it?

    You can rant and rave on here all you want; while your patients suffer, your mortgage defaults and you lose any kind of social life, but until you actually do something about it
    it means nothing.

    The stories of the way patients are being treated are making me cringe in empathy for the staff conditions that must be causing it.

    I took the cowards way out and left for Australia. we're taking industrial action at the moment as the government are trying to change our skill mix from 1 RN to 4 pts to 1:5

    You need to sort your unions out, they are supposed to be there for you>. while you focus on your patient care. at the moment they are not. YOU vote for them, YOU yes you reading this right now not someone else, needs to tell them they are not looking after you. Tell them as loud and unavoidably as you can.

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