The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) was accused of ‘riding roughshod’ over hard pressed health visitors and community nurses by jacking up the registration fee to £120-a-year, despite overwhelming opposition.
Unite, the country’s largest union, which represents about 25,000 nurses and community nurses on the NMC’s register, branded the rise from £100 to £120 next March as ‘a kick in the teeth’.
Unite had mounted a ‘freeze the fee’ campaign, but today (Wednesday 1 October) the NMC pushed ahead with a £20-a-year rise, which the union said is ‘a tax on jobs.”
Unite professional officer Jane Beach said: “Our members will feel that they have been kicked in the teeth by the NMC which pushed ahead regardless, riding roughshod over the strong opposition of its registrants.
“Nurses, midwives and specialist community public health nurses have seen their pay eroded by up to 15 per cent in real terms since 2010 – and now the financial thumb screws have been turned again.
“This decision was made, despite the fact that the NMC has nearly £10 million locked way in its reserves.
“And our members are still reeling from absorbing the last 32 per cent increase – from £76 to £100 - in the registration fee.”
Unite’s policy is that 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.
Unite also represents mental health, acute and school nurses, as well as a number of midwives.
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
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.