Following indications from the Government that the pay cap will be lifted and the pay review body will have this limit on their recommendations removed, the campaign has now moved to a focus on closing the gap left my years of pay restraint.
There is still some way to go before we find out what the result will be for our members and whether nursing staff will get the pay rise they deserve. But we have come a long way from where we were in May when Congress heard a passionate appeal for action and the threat that industrial action could not be ruled out.
The pay campaign in the Eastern region has been fantastically supported by our members, and particularly the Pay Champions who signed up to help spread the message about why nursing pay must rise and the cap lifted. With your help we collected over 8,500 postcards, signed by NHS staff and the public calling on their MPs to support calls to scrap the pay cap. This was the largest number of postcards collected by any RCN region and contributed to a grand total of 67,000 which have now been delivered to MPs.
We have been impressed at the way students have backed the campaign, attending our events, travelling to London for the pay rally outside Westminster and speaking to people about nursing pay. It has been a pleasure to have so many of you get involved and give us your feedback and ideas about the campaign.
Getting involved in campaigns like this is something which benefits staff at all stages of their career. With the removal of the student bursary we must now look at how those starting their training are able to support themselves and the issue of payment for placements must be seriously considered. Our campaigning isn’t over yet.
I hope you will continue to support the RCN’s work to lobby our MPs and get the voices of members heard at the highest levels of Government on the issues that concern you. We can’t do this without your help.