Proposals to be considered by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) that could see registration fees for nurses, midwives and health visitors jump by 20 per cent have been branded as “outrageous” by Unite, the country’s largest union.
Unite, which represents about 25,000 nurses and community nurses on the NMC’s register, 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 the NMC is due to meet on 26 March to kick start the consultation process on the £120 proposal, which could come into effect in March 2015.
Unite professional officer Jane Beach said: “Our members are still reeling from the latest hike from £76 to £100 a year, which is a tax on jobs.
“The proposed 20 per cent fee hike is outrageous, given that NHS staff will only receive a one per cent pay rise from April – and health secretary Jeremy Hunt does not want them to receive any increase at all.
“We are calling for a moratorium on any rise in the registration fee until at least March 2016 – and even then, any increase should be linked to the annual pay award for NHS staff.
“The NMC is arguing that it needs the extra cash to tackle the backlog of ‘fitness to practice’ cases. However, we believe that this should be financed by the government, so the NMC gets back onto a financial even keel and does not have to continually raid the purses and wallets of our members.
“When you consider that the NMC has more than 600,000 registrants and only a very small percentage ever has complaints made against them, why should the vast majority be out of pocket?”
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.