Public support for pay rise ‘overwhelming’, says Royal College of Nursing

Press Release 23/11/2020

As the Chancellor finalises his spending plans, a new poll shows public support for a pay rise for nursing staff remains high during the pandemic.

A poll of 1,715 members of the public, carried out by YouGov for the Royal College of Nursing, shows that 82% of those surveyed said they supported a pay rise this year.

Nurses earn less now in real terms, taking into account inflation, than in 2010. The most experienced and long-serving nursing staff, who make up nearly half the profession, saw the value of their salaries fall in real terms over the decade. Many are considering leaving the profession taking with them years of invaluable skills and knowledge.

The poll comes just days before Chancellor Rishi Sunak will unveil his one-year spending review, which the RCN says is an opportunity for the Government to redress historically low rates of pay.

As part of the RCN Fair Pay for Nursing campaign, every MP in the UK has been contacted by nursing staff, patients, and their families and friends, urging them to put pressure on the Chancellor to prioritise pay for nursing staff. So far, 15,047 people have emailed their MP.

Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said:

“We’ve called on those who clapped us during the first wave of the pandemic to back us in our call for a meaningful pay rise, and they’ve answered us. Their support has been overwhelming. Now we need MPs to support us and make our case to the Chancellor ahead of the Spending Review.

“Funding our health and care service is a political choice. We want Government to recognise the skill, experience and responsibility demonstrated every day by nursing staff.”

The Fair Pay for Nursing campaign is calling on the Government to give nursing staff a one-year fully-funded pay rise of 12.5%.

Ends

Notes  

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1,718 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th - 16th November 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

In July, a poll by YouGov commissioned by the Royal College of Nursing found that 86% of Britons supported giving nursing staff a pay rise this year. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1,623 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 30th - 31st July 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Registered nurses at the top of band 5 have a salary of £30,615 this year, which would be over £5,000 higher if it had kept pace with inflation (RPI) to reach £36,160. This is a real terms gap of 15.3%. 

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