As many of you will know I along with many others in the RCN have been supportive of increased pay for our members. The RCN have, after a period of consultation, published and launched the next pay campaign with an ask of 12.5% funded pay increase (meaning it doesn’t come out of existing budgets). I have been hearing for years that members believe that they deserve that pay increase a view I fully share.
Since 2010 nursing pay has fallen in real terms by around 20% with sub inflationary pay increases pay freezes and pay caps. We all agree that we deserve better pay to reward staff who work in challenging conditions. COVID-19 has demonstrated the absolutely vital role nurses play in protecting the nations health. The reduction in services to manage COVID-19 nationally is a direct reflection of how stretched we are as a profession, with not enough staff to provide the services we need to provide the nursing care for our patients. It is only by making our profession more attractive to new applicants by making our profession feel valued will we as nurses be able to ensure that good nursing care will be available to our future patients.
The RCN have consulted members and taken the member steer with what the ask should be. Members have asked for action and rightly so. Now it is up to us individually and collectively to make this happen. The South East Board has demonstrated its commitment to pay supporting Jersey and Guernsey in their respective claims to their governments. As Board Chair for South East region it is clear to me that we as a membership organisation must now mobilise and give our negotiators the support they need to pressure government to meet our pay demand.
There are simple things that you can do that don’t take a huge amount of time:
- Sign up to become an e-campaigner
- Talk to colleagues about pay get the facts out there
- Put up a poster in your workplace
A few simple things that if we all do will raise awareness and give our negotiators more levers to pull in negotiation with government.
As South East Board chair I am also very keen to hear from members on what they would like to do support the campaign. Please send any thoughts to Gerard.firstname.lastname@example.org your contact details would be useful if I need to call you to gain clarity.
It is with collegiate support and solidarity that we can push forward with our claim for fair pay. COVID-19 has demonstrated the breadth of public support and respect for nurses. We will never have a better opportunity to push forward with our claim, it is only with member direction and engagement with the consultation that we got to this step, let's keep moving forward.
Over to you.