Dozens of Scarborough nurses call on Government for pay rise

Scarborough nurses are among hundreds in Yorkshire and the Humber to call on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to increase their pay as part of a spending review today.

Wednesday, 25th November 2020, 10:02 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th November 2020, 10:06 am

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

Mr Sunak is expected to impose a public sector pay freeze in his Spending Review today, but it is understood NHS nurses and doctors could be exempt.

Across Scarborough’s two constituencies, 35 RCN members have written to their MPs calling for a pay increase in recognition of their work.

Library photo.

The breakdown of letters from RCN members in each constituency from November 23 is:

Scarborough and Whitby: 18

Thirsk and Malton: 17

Across Yorkshire and the Humber, 1,163 RCN members have written to their MPs, as well as 57 non-members.

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

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 North East and Yorkshire was 8.5%, up from 8.1% in March.

The RCN, which wants the 12.5% 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.

“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."

On Sunday, Mr Sunak hinted he could impose a public sector pay freeze as part of his spending review by arguing it would be “entirely reasonable” to consider pay policy in an economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

Treasury sources have suggested that 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.