The public sector pay cap, which has seen nurse wages fall by 14% since 2010, could be ended by the end of September, The Sun reports.
According to the paper, Prime Minister Theresa May is planning to end the 1% cap on rises for all public sector workers. The newspaper reports that this will be phased in over two years, but nurses could be some of the first public sector workers to benefit, with rises incoming from April 2018.
‘If reports are true, this would be significant progress and a sign that the Government is listening to our campaign. But any offer from the PM or Treasury needs to not only scrap the pay cap for future years but go some way towards making up for lost earnings,’ said Janet Davies, chief executive of the RCN. ‘If the Government does scrap the cap then industrial action is on the table. Nursing pay has fallen by 14 per cent in real-terms since 2010, now worth £3,000 each year.’
According to The Sun, this would guarantee ‘pay hikes of at least the rate of inflation, currently 2.6%... that would see the pay of the average nurse of £31,600 a year go up by at least £820.’
The pay cap has been intensely controversial. Nursing unions have repeatedly protested the decision to keep pay restraint, saying it has cut wages and led to recruitment and retention problems.
‘Thousands of nurses will be demonstrating outside Parliament this Wednesday to ensure Ministers are left in no doubt about the strength of feeling in the profession,’ added Ms Davies.