A petition calling for an end to the 1% cap on NHS pay awards for nurses has gained more than 22,000 signatures in 10 days.
Following a written submission to the NHS pay review body from the Royal College of Nursing on 30 September, Danielle Tiplady, a community nurse, began an online petition demanding an above-inflation pay rise for nurses.
The petition, which opened on 3 October, highlights the pay restraint that has faced midwives, healthcare assistants and associated healthcare professionals, as well as nurses since 2010.
It says: “The impact of the pay restraint is harsh. Many are sadly leaving the professions they love. There is an NHS staff crisis. In London we lack 10,000 nurses. Yet two fifths of nurses living in the capital plan to leave as they are unable to pay their rent. Staff reporting using food banks and hardship funds is increasing. The pay restraint must end.”
Nurses and midwives have seen a 14% real-terms fall in wages over the last six years.
Tiplady said: “Nursing staff deserve a pay award that reflects our knowledge, skill and dedication.
She added that the interest in her petition “is a huge achievement, but colleagues are struggling to pay bills and even turning away from the profession, and it’s time Parliament debated why.”
Tiplady previously campaigned against the Government’s decision to scrap student nursing bursaries from 2017.
In August, Jeremy Hunt wrote a letter saying continued pay restraint is “crucial” to the Government’s public finance plans, suggesting the cap would remain through 2017/18.
However, health unions submitted to the pay review body in September, recommending that their workers receive a more substantial pay rise in that year.