The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) plan to jack up its registration fee by 20 per cent, while the UK’s nurses, midwives and specialist community public health nurses are having their incomes seriously eroded in real terms, has been branded as ‘grotesque’.
The UK’s largest union, Unite, which represents about 25,000 nurses and community nurses on the NMC’s register, has come out strongly against the plans to increase the fee from the current £100 a year to £120 in March 2015 in its consultation response.
Unite professional officer Jane Beach said: “Our members are still reeling from absorbing the last 58 per cent increase – from £76 to £100 - in the registration fee, which is, basically, a tax on jobs. Without NMC registration, you can’t work, it is as simple as that.
“Our members have seen their incomes seriously eroded in real terms with little or no pay rise, increased pension contributions, and reductions in unsocial hours payments.
“Many of our members regard it as grotesque that the NMC should even consider such a hike and Unite is calling on the NMC to press the pause button on this.”
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.
Jane Beach said: “The proposed NMC fee rise of 20 per cent is misguided in the extreme and it will cause increased financial hardship to already struggling hardworking professionals.
“A survey undertaken with our NMC registered members highlighted their strength of feeling against yet another fee hike by an overwhelming majority of 98 per cent.
“They are angry that government failed to implement the Law Commission recommendations that potentially would have reduced the cost of their regulation, and consider that government should therefore provide the additional funding required by the NMC.
“The NMC has stated that the increase is required in part to maintain its financial reserves in line with its policy of these being between £10 and £25 million.
“The reserves in June were £9.8 million, £2.2 million more than the restated budget due to lower expenditure and just short of the minimum required. This further reinforces the case of a fee moratorium.”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
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.