The campaign sought to overturn the UK Treasury-imposed 1% cap on public sector pay awards. This meant that the real value of nurses’ pay across the UK has fallen by up to 14% since 2010 and further in Northern Ireland.
The Scrap the Cap campaign focused on engagement with RCN members across Northern Ireland and meetings between RCN members and Northern Ireland MPs in order to outline and articulate members’ anger about the impact of the pay cap.
Following the announcement by the Secretary of State for Health in October 2017 that the pay cap has been scrapped, the RCN is now campaigning to address the 2-3% gap between nurses’ pay in Northern Ireland and that in the rest of the UK. We are also demanding that the 1% pay award made to nurses in the rest of the UK for 2017-2018 is implemented in Northern Ireland. Although the Northern Ireland Department of Health finally announced in December 2017 that this award would be honoured, Northern Ireland nurses are still waiting for it to be paid.
The pay gap is putting patient care at risk. It devalues nurses and nursing, means people are not joining the profession and forces many to leave. Because there are not enough nurses, patients cannot get the care they need.
You can help by joining the campaign to let other RCN members, politicians and the wider public in Northern Ireland know why we must promote fair pay for Northern Ireland nurses.