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Nurses say multi-year pay talks have stalled because of 2% cap

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TALKS on a multi-year pay deal for nurses are deadlocked because the government is attempting to cap their rise at 2% for the next three years, the RCN has revealed.

Speaking at a meeting of the RCN’s council today, general secretary Peter Carter said the organisation had no interest in such a deal.

This is the first time any of the organisations involved in the talks, which began in Autumn, have spoken on the record as to why they have stalled.

‘Talks are ongoing but the amount being talked about over the next three years have no attraction for us at all.

‘If the government is stuck on 2 per cent a year for the next three years, there is nothing in that to make us feel that would be a good deal.’

Mr Carter said the deal would not allow nurses’ pay to keep pace with inflation in the faltering economy.

‘The risk will be entirely with us. Everybody knows what is happening with the economy.’ he added.

The RCN is now waiting for the report of the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB), which is currently writing a report containing its recommendation for a rise for most non-medical NHS staff.

The PRB is expected to make its recommendation in mid-March.

The RCN will also resist attempts to give nurses in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales separate pay rises. Gareth Phillips, council member for Wales told NT: ‘It undermined our case last year.’

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