The decision by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to press ahead with its consultation that could see registration fees for nurses, midwives and health visitors jump by 20 per cent was condemned by Unite, the country’s largest union, today (Thursday 27 March).
Unite professional officer Jane Beach said: “For the NMC to push ahead with this consultation smacks of insensitivity, especially given the derisory ‘divide and rule’ pay offer that health secretary, Jeremy Hunt made to NHS staff a fortnight ago.”
Unite, which represents about 25,000 nurses and community nurses on the NMC’s register, has said there should be a moratorium on any fee hike until at least March 2016 – and even then, any increase should be linked to the annual pay rise for NHS staff.
The registration fee, which nurses have to pay to be able to work, is currently £100 a year – and yesterday the NMC kick started the consultation process on the £120 proposal, which could come into effect in March 2015. The consultation period will run between May and July.
Unite will be launching a campaign to fight this proposed rise.
Jane Beach said: “Our members are still absorbing the latest hike from £76 to £100 a year, which is a tax on jobs.
“We repeat our call for a moratorium on any rise in the registration fee until at least March 2016 – and even then, any rise should be linked to the annual pay award for NHS staff.
“The argument the NMC is putting forward is that it needs
the extra cash to tackle the backlog of ‘fitness to practice’ cases. However, it is Unite’s view that this should be financed by the government.
“This would enable the NMC to balance its books and stop this obsessive urge to make outrageous raids on the declining incomes in real terms of its more than 600,000 registrants.
“It should be remembered that only a very small percentage ever has ‘fitness to practice’ complaints made against them, so why should the vast majority of the nursing, health visiting and midwifery professions
have to fork out for this process?”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Notes to editors
• Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.