Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stick at 2% and We Fight, Nurses Warn

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stick at 2% and We Fight, Nurses Warn

Article excerpt

Byline: By Liz Hands Health Correspondent

Nurses at hospitals across the region are threatening an overtime ban and possible strike in protest at a proposed pay deal.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says a third of its North-East members are prepared to take industrial action if they do not get a better offer.

Chancellor Gordon Brown is recommending nurses get a 2% rise in line with inflation.

But the RCN says nurses are already struggling and that more than a quarter of them have taken on a second job to make ends meet. It is calling for a 3% rise.

A survey for the union found 29% of nurses in the region would consider refusing to accept unpaid overtime if they were given a rise of less than 3% ( 7% would consider striking and 6% would ban paperwork.

The RCN estimates this will lead to the loss of one day of care per nurse each week ( because they work an extra six-and-a-half hours a week in unpaid overtime.

RCN Northern director Glenn Turp said yesterday: "If the Government wishes to deliver on its plans for modernising the NHS, it cannot afford to lose the goodwill of nursing staff. …

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