The RCN’s Fair Pay for Nursing campaign is calling for a significant pay award in 2022-2023 to help address the fall in the value of nurses’ pay over the last decade, as well as to recruit and retain the nursing staff that we desperately need here in Northern Ireland.
Unsafe staffing levels have an adverse impact on patient care. Paying nursing staff fairly is a key factor in retaining the experienced staff we have, as well as attracting others into the profession. With thousands of unfilled vacancies across the health and social care system, resulting in spiralling agency staffing expenditure to try to fill the gaps, pay and reward is a key issue for RCN members during this election campaign.
Looking to the longer term, it is vital that the unique contribution of all nursing staff, whatever their grade or place of work, is recognised and reflected in future conversations about pay, terms and conditions. The RCN is also calling for the implementation of the existing provisions for pay progression, as well as the deployment of recruitment and retention premia, to reward nurses appropriately for the work they do and help address our growing staffing crisis.
For the future of our health and social care system, let’s make sure that the call for fair pay for nursing is heard loud and clear during this Assembly election campaign.