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RCN urges action against Gov's pay decision

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The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has launched a 'What if?' campaign on nurse pay. It will support nurses to oppose the Government's decision in April not to award all healthcare professionals a one per cent pay rise.

The RCN conducted a survey to gauge nurses' responses to the decision and found that 95 per cent of respondents wanted to oppose it.

The RCN organised a day of action on 5 June where nurses were invited to protest against the decision across the country. A spokesman from the RCN said that they considered the day of action a success but had yet to collate the numbers of people that attended each protest.

Peter Carter, the chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: 'No one is denying that times have been tough and that difficult decisions need to be made. However nurses have already done their bit.

'They've cared for record numbers of patients through the most disruptive reorganisation in the history of the NHS and in the face of huge workforce cuts. They deserve to be valued and appreciated and this paltry increase, which most of them won't even see, sends a very different message.

'What if?' is there to give nursing staff a voice and the RCN will be campaigning to ensure that the Government listens and does the decent and honourable thing by giving nursing staff the pay rise they deserve.'

Speaking at the NHS Confederation Annual Conference on 5 June, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said that he would have loved to have taken up the pay review body's recommendations but said if he had done, trusts would have had to make thousands of workers redundant.

The one per cent increase does not apply to anyone not on Agenda for Change.

More information about the campaign can be found here:

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