The most awaited decree on the scrapping of 1% pay cap has finally unveiled. The hopes of thousands of nurses and the others in the public sector seemed shattered after the ministers of Parliament in the UK rejected the plea to scrap the 1% pay cap for the public sector.
The outcome was witnessed soon after the day RCN members and their supporters protested against the 1% pay cap across 30 different towns. The RCN members demonstrated their agitation against outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Department of Health in London, and outside NHS offices and hospitals nationwide.
The voting by the MPs ran against the Labour amendment to the queen’s speech defeating the Labour party by 14 votes. Amongst the voters, there were 10 lawmakers in Westminster from the Democratic Unionist Party along with the Conservatives, who were supposed to form a government jointly with Prime Minister Theresa May.
However, it is perceived that government is willing to reconsider the cap on salary raises, which is having an arousing effect on the livelihood of public sector workers including nurses.
The RCN Chief Executive, Janet Davies says that “This is a bitter disappointment for nurses and others in the public sector. At lunchtime, there were signs the Government was listening to our calls, but by the evening they voted to keep the pay cap in place. Our members' Summer of Protest will continue."
“But we also know that a growing number on the Government’s own benches agree the cap should be scrapped. We will continue to build cross-party support this summer. If the Prime Minister intends to address pay in an autumn Budget, she should do so without delay.
The pay cap stands in the way of filling the 40,000 vacant nurse posts in England. When NHS and care services are short of safe staffing, patients pay a heavy price.”
“It is welcome that the Government has said it will listen to the Pay Review Body’s evidence but they must also act on it. The RCN will play its part in showing ministers how they can address the real-terms loss of earnings – worth £3,000 a year - since 2010.”
The government is facing tremendous pressure to change course on such gravity from few of its members following the defeat of Theresa May in the general election. Sarah Wollaston, the Minister of Parliament for the Conservative said the flaccid Parliament now requires a new pathway and this should consider steps to relax the public sector pay cap.
She further said that “I’d agree with the points that have been made that it’s time for us to think again about the impact of the public sector pay cap. Because there’s no doubt in my mind that seven years of this cap is now having a significant impact on morale within the health service, and across our wider public sector.”
The Scottish social security minister, Jeane Freeman said that loss of income added to real-terms slashes in Scotland’s Treasury grant of about £2.9bn between 2010 and 2019, and further cuts in subsequent years.
Freeman also said the analysis portrays how these cuts affect the livelihood of people and at the same time affect the economies across Scotland.
Well, disappointment is another thing and fighting to overcome it is different. Come and join the RCN's Summer of Protest and gather your wits to scrap the cap at www.rcn.org.uk/scrapthecap
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