The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has launched an online tool for nurses to urge their MPs to attend the debate on nurse pay in Parliament on 30 January.
The tool contains a template email that can be sent to MPs urging them to attend the debate. It can also be used to find out who the local MP is if not known. The template contains three key demands: scrap the 1% public sector pay cap for NHS staff; award NHS staff an above-inflation pay increase; and return to UK-wide pay rate in the NHS. Since the tool launched on 20 January, more than 6500 nurses have contacted their MP.
‘I joined the nursing profession because I want to care for people. I love my job, but over the last few years, it’s become unbearable,' the template reads. ‘My workload is rapidly increasing due to staff shortages and rising patient demand, and, like many of my colleagues, my morale is so low that I feel close to breaking point.’
The RCN will also host a lobbying session before the debate, where nurses can explain to MPs the hardship they have experienced due to pay restraint. According to the union, pay has fallen by 14% in real terms since 2010, and some nursing staff are now relying on foodbanks and second jobs. The debate in parliament was triggered after a petition set up by Danielle Tiplady reach 100,000 signatures.
Commenting on the petition, Janet Davies, chief executive of the RCN, said: ‘This petition shows just how many people support our call to lift this pay cap once and for all.'
To view the online tool, visit: http://rcn.takeaction.org.uk/lobby/paydebate