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UK Faces Fresh Crisis as 250,000 Nurses Consider Quitting Because of Low Pay - News - Nursesarena Forum

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UK Faces Fresh Crisis as 250,000 Nurses Consider Quitting Because of Low Pay by katty : July 26, 2020, 02:53:02 PM
Up to a quarter of a million nurses are now considering quitting their jobs because of pitifully low pay.

Many of them erupted in fury days ago when the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced wage rises for 900,000 public sector workers but left them out.

Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock have been quick to praise nurses during the pandemic – but the warm words have not been matched by more pay.

Nurses are threatening to leave in their droves unless the Government quickly comes up with significantly more than the 2.8 per cent rise promised to doctors.

Royal College of Nursing chief Dame Donna Kinnair said: “Politicians must feel the pressure to make the next NHS pay rise a big one. Telling nursing staff to wait until 2021 is not acceptable after everything they’ve done.

“Nurses and health care staff demonstrated their skill under pressure and now it’s time their pay matched it.”

The Royal College of Midwives also wants a pay settlement this year.

Jon Skewes, of the RCM, said: “The massive contribution and dedication of NHS workers during the pandemic has shown just how valuable they are.”

While midwife Natalie Linder said: “My pay now is roughly worth as much as it was 10 years ago.

“We work incredibly hard, and the pandemic has seen our work and stress levels rise even further. Ministers have praised NHS staff. They should put their money where their mouths are.”

There are already 40,000 unfilled nursing posts, and numbers coming here from Europe have plunged from 38,000 three years ago to 31,400.

At the end of last year an RCN survey showed 27 per cent of nurses were thinking of giving up. That has now risen to 36 per cent – and most say bad pay is the main reason. Previously, nurses had been more unhappy about NHS cuts, staffing levels and lack of management support.

Laura in Peterborough, Cambs, said: “I’ve worked as a nurse for 18 years…and it’s been so rewarding.

“But friends have left nursing and found a similar salary for much less stress and responsibility. I thought I would do this for life. We are lifesavers but you’d never know it from our wages.”

Sam in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, said: “When I left university and started as a children’s nurse in 2016 I was earning the same as other friends.

“But the difference is already beginning to show. Nurses are graduates too and the job is extremely complex.

“Too many newly qualified nurses like me struggle to see a whole career ahead of us.”

About 70 per cent of nurses say they feel more valued by the public due to the way they have tackled Covid-19, but only 18 per cent feel more valued by the Government.

Dame Donna said: “We are working harder than ever but feel less valued. Even more of us are now considering leaving the profession we love.

“Pay us fairly and address the dangerous staffing shortages.” When questioned by the Mirror in May, Health Secretary Matt Hancock agreed “very strongly” that nursing is a “highly skilled profession and deserves decent pay”.

He added: “When it comes to how we reward people for their efforts in this crisis… I will be making sure we fight to have that fair reward.”

He told chief nursing officers: “Without nursing the NHS dies.”

The PM said after surviving Covid-19: “The NHS saved my life.”

Hailing nurses who sat by his bed, he added: “Every second of every hour, there are thousands of NHS staff acting with the same care.”

Mr Sunak is giving teachers a wage rise of 3.1 per cent and police 2.5 per cent backdated to April.

Civil servants will get two per cent.

But nurses – on start­­ing salaries of £24,907 – midwives, hospital porters, paramedics, cleaners, healthcare assistants, medical secretaries and lab technicians are covered by a pay deal until next March.

It was worth at least 6.5% over the course of three years.

Only a hefty pay rise could make up for public sector pay being frozen in 2011 and 2012 and then capped at one per cent increases for five years.

The Chancellor has threatened staff with wage restraint to pay for the £300billion he has spent propping up the economy during the pandemic.

A letter 14 unions wrote to ministers urging them to get a move on with talks has received no reply.

There are 700,000 registered nurses midwives and nursing associates. Some are not currently practising.


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