Nurses at a trust in Hertfordshire are to make pay claims for the actual hours they work, as part of a national campaign by the Royal College of Nursing.
RCN members at an undisclosed number of trusts are set to begin claiming for the actual hours they work and seeking to have their contractual rights met, as reported by Nursing Times in December.
The move is intended to highlight what the RCN described as the government’s “refusal to award them a fair and decent wage”.
“The RCN is supporting our members at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage and in other trusts to ensure that their contractual rights are met”
The college has revealed RCN members at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust as the first group that will be seeking to influence the ongoing row over NHS pay levels in England in this way.
Peter Carter, RCN chief executive and general secretary said: “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.
“Enough is now enough and the RCN is supporting our members at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage and in other trusts to ensure that their contractual rights are met,” he said.
Anne Wells, RCN council member and steward at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said: “Nurses here will be claiming for the excess hours they work and we’ll be supporting them all the way.”
The trust runs three district general hospitals – Hertford County, the Lister and the Queen Elizabeth II in Welwyn Garden City.
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 four-hour 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.
Further strikes, this time lasting for 12 hours and 24 hours, are scheduled to take place on 29 January and 25 February, respectively.