While many of us cannot imagine doing anything else, we now find ourselves in a situation that can no longer be tolerated. Since 2010, pay freezes and the 1% cap on public sector pay increases have left NHS nursing staff at least £3,000 worse off as salaries fall by 14 per cent in real-terms.
Many of you took part in our recent pay poll – the message was clear. Nine out of ten who took part in the survey would support industrial action if the cap on pay is not scrapped. As a result RCN Council decided that we would hold a “summer of protest” to get the voice of the nursing community heard loud and clear. Those in power need to know – enough is enough. The pay cap must end and a decent pay rise must follow.
It is promising that we are now seeing politicians of all parties now coming out in support of scrapping the public sector pay cap. But our campaign will not end until a proper pay rise is awarded to nurses and healthcare assistants across the region.
Thanks to everyone who has supported the campaign so far, either by helping organise an event, attending a meeting or speaking to RCN Eastern reps and staff. Without the involvement of RCN members we would not be able to campaign effectively and get the result everyone needs and deserves.
This summer, let’s do all we can to make sure the Government scraps the cap. Without nursing staff, the NHS cannot survive – let’s protect the staff who keep it afloat.
Carol Evans and Trevor Allen
Eastern Council members.