The government has called for a pay rise recommendation of no more than 1.5 per cent for NHS-employed nurses, which also impacts on the rates paid by practices.
In its written submission to the the independent Nursing and Other Health Professionals Review Body today, the RCN cites data from the 2006 Labour Force Survey which show that nurses and midwives in the public sector earn 20 per cent less than primary teachers and 24 per cent less than secondary teachers.
Nurses and midwives in managerial roles also earn significantly less than teachers and police officers without management responsibilities: 24 per cent less than primary teachers; 27 per cent less than secondary teachers and 14 per cent less than police officers.
RCN general secretary Dr Beverly Malone said: ‘There is no excuse for paying nurses so much less than other public servants. In real terms, the government’s suggestion of a limit of 1.5 per cent would amount to a pay cut of 2.1 per cent for nurses at a time when prices for travel, rent and mortgage costs are rising.’