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Unions send PM a clear message to end pay cap or face consequences

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) alongside 14 unions representing the NHS workforce demand Theresa May end the 1% cap on NHS pay.

In a joint letter to the Theresa May, the Royal College of Nursing and 14 other healthcare unions have called upon the Government to commit to the removal of the pay cap and address the real-terms loss of earnings.

The letter was written in conjunction with the; British Association of Occupational Therapists, British Dental Association, British Dietetic Association, British Medical Association, British & Irish Orthoptic Society, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, GMB, UNISON, Royal College of Midwives, Society of Radiographers, The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and Unite.

Together they warned that health and care services are becoming unsafe without the necessary staff and called on the Prime Minister to ‘prioritise patient safety in this changed political landscape’.

According to the Royal College of Nursing the letter states: “The Public Sector Pay Cap has forced professionals out of jobs they love. Those who stay are overstretched and under pressure to do ever more with less.”

It continues that the cap stands in the way of recruiting and retaining the best in health care and is having a profound and detrimental effect on standards of care for people at a time when the NHS is short of staff across every discipline.

NHS pay has been capped at 1% or less since 2010 – leaving NHS nursing staff at least £3,000 worse off as salaries fall by 14% in real terms.

In May, the Royal College of Nursing released the results of a poll of its membership showing 9 in 10 would support industrial action.

The Royal College of Nursing has offered the Prime Minister a final chance to remove the cap this summer before they start a formal legal ballot on action later in the year.

It is highly likely that other healthcare unions would also follow suit. You can read the letter, which was sent to the Prime Minister, here.