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Outrage as PM hopeful suggests ending national pay deals

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Nurses are already struggling with the cost of liv Nurses are already struggling with the cost of liv

Frontrunner to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister Liz Truss briefly suggested that, if elected, she would end national pay deals for public sector staff, a move branded an ‘insult to nursing professionals’ by the RCN.

Ms Truss later retracted her comments and said current levels of public sector pay will be maintained. The Tory leadership candidate suggested linking pay to regional living standards. This would mean nursing staff doing similar roles receiving different salaries depending on location. She vowed to end national pay deals for civil servants and said she would do the same in other public sector roles if the scheme was successful.

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‘This was an attack on NHS values and a direct assault on its professionals. Undermining trade unions and their members, diversity and employment rights are warped priorities when Ms Truss herself says hospitals are crumbling,’ said Pat Cullen, RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive.

‘By suggesting that salaries for nurses and support workers deserve cutting further she has shown her true colours.’

According to the RCN, ‘Lowering nursing pay in any region of the UK is always a bad idea. Proposing this during a cost-of-living crisis is insulting to nursing staff everywhere.’ The point out that there are already tens of thousands of unfilled nursing jobs and cutting salaries will drive many more out of the profession. These shortages mean that patient care is suffering.

‘National salaries are key to a national service. A move to regional pay in the NHS was defeated 10 years ago and I give notice to Ms Truss that I would fight her just as strongly if she were to pursue such a policy,’ added Ms Cullen.

‘This will be fresh in the minds of nursing staff when they vote on taking strike action in our upcoming industrial action ballot – enough is enough.’

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