The UK government has announced that NHS staff in England will get a pay increase of at least £1400 for 2022-23.
The Government says that the award will be a consolidated uplift to full-time equivalent salaries, enhanced for the top of bands 6 and all points of bands 7 so it is equal to a 4% uplift. The pay award announced today will be backdated to 1 April, and, according to the RCN, represents a real-terms pay cut given that RPI inflation is currently at 11.7%.
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‘This is a grave misstep by ministers. With this low award, the government is misjudging the mood of nursing staff and the public too. There are tens of thousands of unfilled nursing jobs and today ministers have taken the NHS even further from safe patient care,’ said RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen
‘Living costs are rising and yet they have enforced another real-terms pay cut on nursing staff. It will push more nurses and nursing support workers out of the profession. Our members will vote and tell us what they want to do next. We are grateful for the growing public support, including over strike action.’
The RCN has been campaigning for an NHS pay rise of 5% above that level of inflation, to help address the cost-of-living crisis, encourage people to join and stay in the nursing profession and begin to restore a decade of underpayment.
‘Our members are being failed by government and we will not stand for it. Today’s pay announcement makes it harder, not easier, for them to cope with the rising cost of living,’ said Chair of RCN Council Carol Popplestone.
‘It won’t do anything to recruit or retain the nursing staff our NHS desperately needs. It doesn’t recognise the skill and responsibility of the job we do. It won’t keep patients safe.’