RCN Demands A 5% Above Inflation Pay Rise

RCN Nurses marching on Saturday's TUC demonstration show their support for RMT strikers

FOLLOWING the ONS (Office of National Statistics) announcement yesterday that inflation in the 12 months to May soared to 11.7%, the RCN (Royal College of Nursing) repeated its call for a pay rise this year of inflation plus 5%.

RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive, Pat Cullen, said: ‘Inflation reaching a 40-year high is yet another reason that nursing staff are in dire need of a pay rise.

‘Following over a decade of real-terms pay cuts, nursing – that makes up over half of NHS staff – are financially propping up our health and care services.

‘They are overworked and under pressure, alongside being underpaid. And this puts patients at risk.

‘A pay rise that goes significantly above inflation is crucial to the recruitment and retention of skilled nursing staff.’

The RCN called for a 5% above inflation pay rise for nursing staff in its submission to the Pay Review Body earlier this year.

The NHS pay award for 2022/2023 has yet to be announced.

RPI (Retail Price Index) inflation hit 11.7 and CPI (Consumer Price Index) 9.1% in the 12 months to May, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced yesterday.

Grant Fitzner, chief economist at the ONS, said the prices of goods leaving factories rose at their fastest rate in 45 years in May, driven by ‘widespread food price rises’.

Multi-millionaire Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: ‘I know that people are worried about the rising cost of living, which is why we have taken targeted action to help families, getting £1,200 to the eight million most vulnerable households.’

Laura Suter, head of personal finance at AJ Bell, said hopes of inflation ‘ebbing away later this year are dead’, adding: ‘Unfortunately, more gloom lies ahead.

‘Once again fuel is the factor driving inflation higher, from home energy bills to petrol and diesel prices pushing up transport costs. But it’s not just energy bills, increasing, prices are rising across the board and soaring food costs are also playing their part.’

• See editorial