A petition to remove the 1% cap on pay for nurses, midwives and allied staff has been signed more than 85,000 times and gained 19,000 signatures in 10 days.
The petition, created by community nurse Danielle Tiplady, argues that nurses have seen a real-terms cut in pay of 14%, pushing many into poverty. It also states that the situation is exacerbating the NHS staffing crisis, with many nurses forced to leave the profession to pursue more lucrative careers.
‘Nursing staff work incredibly hard in challenging circumstances and they deserve to be fairly paid,’ said RCN Chief Executive Janet Davies. ‘They have endured the public sector pay cap since 2010, which has left them 14% worse off in real terms. Many are struggling to provide for themselves and their families.’
In the Government’s response to the petition, it said: ‘NHS staff are our greatest asset. Despite the pressures on the NHS driven by an increasingly aged and frail population, nurses, and all our hard working NHS staff continue to put patients first, keeping them safe whilst providing the high quality care patients and their families expect.’
‘We are asking everyone from healthcare staff to patients and the general public to sign this petition and help to lift this cap once and for all. It is time nursing staff were valued for the critical work they do,’ added Ms Davies.
The RCN and other health unions have urged the NHS Pay Review Body to improve pay in the health service. The Pay Review Body is expected to make its decision for the 2017/18 pay round at the end of February.
If the petition reaches its 100,000 signature goal by 3 April, the issue will be debated by MPs in parliament. To sign the petition, visit: petition.parliament.uk/petitions/168127