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”
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.
“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.