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. The pay cap not only leaves nurses struggling financially, it devalues nurses and nursing.
People are not joining the profession and many are leaving. Patients cannot get the care they need because there are not enough nurses - there are 40,000 unfilled nursing jobs across England.
Many nurses are now getting involved in a “summer of protest” to give the Government a final chance to remove the cap before a formal legal ballot on action later in the year.
Local rep Claire Fisher said: “It was important I came to show my support as the pay cap devalues nurses and nursing. It means people are put off from joining the profession and many are leaving. Because there are not enough nurses, patients cannot get the care they need. Increasing registered nurse vacancies mean understaffed wards and overstretched staff.”
Branch Chair Maggy Heaton added: “It is essential that nurses throw their weight behind this campaign. The summer of protest is not industrial action nor are we encouraging members to vote for industrial action. We will be organising events in NHS workplaces and nursing staff and colleagues are working as normal. What we are doing is bringing the issue of poor pay and low staffing to the attention of the public and our employers.”