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SWAH nurses step up pay campaign

nurses

Over 150 nurses in South West Acute Hospital have signed up to ‘Scrap the Cap.’ Scrap the Cap is a Royal College of Nursing campaign which aims to persuade the current Government to abandon the 1% annual Treasury cap on public sector pay awards and also close the gap between nurses’ pay in the North and that in the rest of the UK.
The campaign is also going around in other areas of the Western Trust including Omagh and Altnagelvin to raise awareness of the pay gaps nurses in the North are experiencing.
An experienced staff nurse within the North earns £28,462. Without the pay cap, they should be earning £32,731, a shortfall of £4,269 each year.
A highly qualified and experienced specialist nurse earns £41,374. Without the pay cap, they should be earning £47,580, a shortfall of £6,206 each year.
Nurses in the North are also paid less than those employed in other UK areas. A newly-qualified band 5 staff nurse in Northern Ireland is now paid £285 less than a counterpart in England each year and £531 per year less than in Scotland.
Kathryn Scott, Royal College of Nursing Stewart, who operates within the Western Trust and primarily South West Acute Hospital explains,
“We got 77 signatures in Enniskillen last Saturday night, and on Thursday we got another 80 within two hours. We are trying to persuade the Governtment to abandon the 1% treasury cap on all public sector awards because pay has been falling by 14% across the UK since 2011. There is also a pay gap between nurses here and a nurse working in Scotland. We are also hoping to focusing on the staff levels and the impact of low levels on the ability to recruit new nurses within the North.”
Due to the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly, nurses here still do not know whether or not they will receive a pay award this year. Their colleagues in England, Scotland and Wales have already received a 1% increase from April 2017.


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