A one per cent pay increase for NHS staff does nothing to address the financial difficulties nursing staff are facing after a two-year pay freeze, the Royal College of Nursing has said.
The comments come as a ministerial statement announces that the Government is accepting the NHS Pay Review Body’s recommendations for a one per cent increase in basic pay for all NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts.
The RCN says that nurses and health care assistants are struggling to keep their heads above water financially, as their pay levels are failing to keep pace with inflation.
Dr Peter Carter, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, said: “The reality of increasing living costs means we are seeing higher numbers of our members in debt and unable to meet mortgage payments.
“The announcement of a one per cent increase for 2013/14 does nothing to restore the nine per cent gap caused by rising inflation that we have seen open up during the previous two years’ pay freeze.”
The RCN believes nursing staff must be properly rewarded for the challenging but vital work they do and the NHS must properly invest in its workforce to ensure the best quality care is delivered.