Nurses call for a 10% pay rise after years of real-terms cuts

The public call comes only hours after France’s government approved a “historic” €8 billion pay rise.

Matt Bodell
15 July 2020
Nurse pay bills

The average NHS nurse has seen their take-home pay increase by just £38 a month over the past three years.

Frontline nurses are calling for a substantial pay rise after years of below-inflation rises and real-terms pay cuts.

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Grassroots group Nurses United UK are calling on Westminster to approve a 10% raise across the board for all health and social care workers.

The public call comes only hours after France’s government approved a “historic” €8 billion pay rise – which will see their base salary increase by around €180 each month.

In stark contrast, the average Band 5 NHS nurse has seen their take-home pay increase by just £38 a month over the past three years.

Over the past decade, the situation is worse with the average Band 5 NHS nurse being £6144 per year worse off due to wages failing to keep up with the rate of inflation (RPI) – pension increases and national insurances hikes also paint an even bleaker picture.

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Fourteen health unions wrote to the Prime Minister and Chancellor earlier this month requesting “immediate NHS pay discussions” explaining that while the applause and tributes have been a short-term morale boost, this is a “unique” opportunity for the government to show true support and acknowledge the hard work of staff.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care admitted he wanted to see health and social care staff “properly rewarded” for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hollow words.

NHS staff also top the list of those applying for “predatory” payday loans. 

Anthony Johnson, Lead Organiser for the group and an NHS Health Visitor, said; “We’re done relying on Westminster – this is about using this moment to build the society we want and showing that we value our Healthcare workers and that we’re in charge.

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“That means that instead of having a system where we cut their pay and are then surprised that this causes a staffing shortage, we invest in them and our country. The NHS is great because of its staff and Nurses United UK is here to show you how you can get involved to value them.

Unions have echoed the calls and criticised the Governments continued “hollow” words.

RCN National Officer Hannah Reed, commented previously on a rise, saying; “Across the NHS, nursing and health care staff are still working harder than ever. These people are the country’s greatest asset. When we celebrate that, politicians must think about how staff can be fairly paid and valued.

“They do not need more warm words and praise that, to many, is already beginning to feel hollow.

“An earlier pay rise will go some way to showing the government values all they do, not just this year but day in day out. Proper recognition and pay to match it will go some way to addressing the number of unfilled jobs.”

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