Dozens of Peterborough nurses call on Government for pay rise

Call for a pay rise for nurses. Photo: PA EMN-201126-113359001Call for a pay rise for nurses. Photo: PA EMN-201126-113359001
Call for a pay rise for nurses. Photo: PA EMN-201126-113359001
Peterborough nurses are among hundreds in the East of England to call on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to increase their pay.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) wants a 12.5 per cent pay rise for nurses, claiming members feel “undervalued” and that they are being driven out by “poor pay levels”.

Mr Sunak is imposing a public sector pay freeze in his Spending Review, but NHS nurses and doctors will be exempt.

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Across Peterborough’s two constituencies, 55 RCN members have written to their MPs calling for a pay increase in recognition of their work.

The breakdown of letters from RCN members in each constituency from last month is:

North West Cambridgeshire: 35

Peterborough: 20

Across the East of England, 1,283 RCN members have written to their MPs, as well as 86 non-members.

They help make up the 15,833 who have written to their MP nationally.

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The RCN says the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with staffing shortages, has shown the public how deserving nurses are of “fair pay”.

NHS figures for June this year show the vacancy rate for nurses in the East of England was nine per cent, down from 9.3 per cent in March.

The RCN, which wants the 12.5 per cent pay rise for all nursing staff, is holding a virtual rally in support of its Fair Pay for Nursing campaign.

Chief executive and general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “There isn’t an MP across the UK who can say they haven’t heard of our aim.

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“The sheer numbers of people who have written, asking for politicians’ support, shows the high esteem in which the public holds nursing staff.

“Even though nursing staff have tackled a global pandemic with 50,000 nursing vacancies in the NHS across the UK, the Government continues to undervalue them.

“It can’t hope to fill staffing shortages with our current poor pay levels.

“The Chancellor must make the right decision.”

Mr Sunak has argued it would be “entirely reasonable” to consider pay policy in an economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Pay for NHS staff, including nurses and doctors, will be dealt with separately.

Mr Sunak also said £3 billion has been earmarked to support the NHS in recovering from the pandemic, including money to address backlogs caused by Covid-19.

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