Years of below-inflation pay rises have taken their toll on the profession.
Nursing staff are now over £7000 a year worse off in real-terms than they were in 2010.
The most experienced frontline nursing staff in England are now £7,202 per year worse off in real-terms than in 2010 due to a skyrocketing cost of living.
Adjusted with the Retail Price Index (RPI), the pay of an experienced Band 5 nurse should have risen to £38,734 by the end of 2021 but instead sits at £31,533.
Years of below-inflation pay rises have taken their toll on the profession with around 40,000 registered nursing vacancies across the NHS in England alone.
Public sector pay freezes and austerity measures introduced by a Conservative majority government are blamed by many for the real-terms reduction in pay.
The financial outlook for nurses is only likely to worsen with significant hikes in income tax and energy prices planned.
A political choice.
The news comes after record-breaking levels of inflation were recorded in the final parts of 2021. Health unions have been calling for a 12.5% restorative pay rise since July 2020.
Nurses United UK has dubbed the real-terms cut as a “political choice”. Lead organiser for the group Anthony Johnson said; “Does anyone really think it’s acceptable for nurses to be having a real-terms pay cut again?
“This is a political choice by this Government. When you cut our pay, year after year, driving up the vacancy rate and increasing turnover throughout the NHS, which only costs us more money in delays, patient harm, and agency fees, you are choosing to ignorantly attack our profession.
“It has to stop. And the only way to do it is to get organised within our workplaces. Our pay deal will be out in the next 5 months and the unions will be balloting you again.
“You need to vote, and get involved in the campaigns, to make sure your colleagues vote too.”