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RCN calls on nurses to record ‘hours worked’ for pay campaign


The Royal College of Nursing has signalled its intension to launch an extra hours campaign in early 2015.

The move is designed to highlight that staff have cared for record numbers of patients through a period of disruptive NHS reorganisation and huge workforce cuts over the last five years.

“Anyone who has had contact with a member of the nursing profession over recent years will know just how long their working day is and how hard they work”

Peter Carter

The failure to award a cost of living increase, and the failure to pay them for the extra hours that they do, is not the way to value hardworking nursing staff, said the college.

As part of its ongoing campaign for fair pay, the RCN said it would be asking members to highlight their value by recording the actual hours worked and seeking to have their contractual rights met.

The decision was made recently by the RCN’s council and further details will be provided at the time of the campaign’s launch.

Peter Carter, RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: “Day in and day out, nursing staff go above and beyond for their patients. Anyone who has had contact with a member of the nursing profession over recent years will know just how long their working day is and how hard they work.

“The government regularly says how much it values NHS staff but the failure to give nurses a cost of living increase coupled with the failure to pay them for the extra work they do sends out a very different message,” he said.


Peter Carter

“Enough is now enough and in the New Year, we will be supporting members to ensure that their contractual rights are,” he added.

The campaign forms parts of the RCN’s protests and lobbying work, following its decision not to ballot members for strike action over pay.

There have so far been two pay strikes – one in October and one in November – involving members of the Royal College of Midwives, Unison, Unite and a range of other health unions.

Unions, including the RCN, also joined a march in favour of better pay across the public sector, on 18 October.  


Readers' comments (6)

  • I bet the government are quaking in their boots Peter!!! Please

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  • This is one of the pressing issues we face in almost all countries. There needs to be an organized effort to analyze the problem & find solutions. I think nurses are the only professional group who work more than the pay they receive

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  • its not just nurses who work more hours than they are paid! Doctors physios OTS ambulance crews. Tell me anyone who just works their hours and conditions in the NHS. Comments like those are divisive and insulting to all members of multidisiplinary teams at a time when a united front to the pay issue is essential.

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  • Pay, along with terms + conditions, have been eroded for most staff, at various grades across the healthcare sector and competing for finite resources also needed for education, social care, policing, etc.
    Some staff are down-banded, regardless of experience + training, to save money but are still expected to work to the level above their pay-grade.

    Current policies aren't working, driving up costs + wastes, and detrimentally affecting staff and patients care, well-being and long-term outcomes.

    Accounting for unpaid hours and then charging for it, maybe is the first step into recognising the value of front-line healthcare staff. It needs a cultural shift to recognise that people's goodwill cannot be taken for granted and should be valued (in terms of real money).
    Goodwill and hot-air will not pay for increasing cost of living and addressing our concerns. Good remuneration packages for me and my colleagues might just buy my votes in May 2015, and possibly a good word from us too ;)

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  • Staff must be paid for their time but they must also be time efficient and realise that our service does give 24hour care and we must trust our colleagues to take over that care so that we can leave on time. (in my experience sometimes staff linger unecessarily or due to lack of organising their own time during the shift.) Of course this does depend on enough staff arriving for the next shift.
    Sometimes we dont help ourselves!

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  • problem is if the tories win again it is not going to solve the nursing crisis with so many militant union nurses and their threatened strikes. surely nurses go into the profession to nurse and because they care about the health of their nation and caring for the sick and not as amateur politicians in an area they clearly demonstrate they know absolutely nothing about.

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