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Letter to the Prime Minister on nursing pay

06 January 2021

Dear Prime Minister, 

In the House of Commons this morning, in response to the Leader of the Opposition, you told Members of Parliament that, “There has been above inflation pay rises for public sector workers, and nurses in particular have had a 12.8% pay rise in the last few years.”

I am writing to inform you that this is not a statement which nursing staff will recognise. Nursing staff are worse off now than they were in 2010, following years of freezes and awards that were capped below the level of inflation. On their behalf, I urge you and fellow ministers to be accurate when discussing their pay. To our members working a brutal shift today this kind of message from you is demoralising. As committed professionals, we are facing the new variant and rising levels of pressure with determination but are fast approaching burn-out.

It cannot be right that ten months into this pandemic, our nursing staff are still worse off than ten years ago. Experienced nursing staff are 15.3 per cent worse off in real terms.

You have a historic opportunity to show you truly value our work, skill and dedication. Our members want proper recognition and fair pay - not more clapping. As the leader of our professional body and trade union representing 450,000 nursing staff across the United Kingdom, I would appreciate the opportunity to put our case to you directly, at your earliest convenience. 

Dame Donna Kinnair
Chief Executive and General Secretary 


Page last updated - 18/01/2021