A ‘freeze the fee’ cheque cutting protest will meet members of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), as they gather to decide whether to increase the registration fee by 20 per cent tomorrow (Wednesday 1 October)
Health visitors and community nurses, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, will be cutting up a large £20 cheque – representing the proposed rise – outside the NMC’s headquarters on Wednesday.
The ‘freeze the fee’ protest will be staged at 23 Portland Place, London W18 1PZ at 09.00 tomorrow (Wednesday).
Unite professional officer Jane Beach said: “Our members believe that the NMC tomorrow should ‘freeze the fee’ at the current £100-a-year – and that the £20 rise on the table is outrageous, given how nurses, midwives and specialist community public health nurses have seen their pay eroded by up to 15 per cent in real terms since 2010.”
Unite, which represents about 25,000 nurses and community nurses on the NMC’s register, has repeatedly come out against the plans to increase the fee from the current £100 a year to £120 in March 2015.
Jane Beach added: “Our members are still reeling from absorbing the last 32 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.
“Tomorrow’s protest is designed to drive home the depth of feeling that our members feel on this issue, especially as the NMC has reserves of nearly £10 million in its coffers.”
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.
PHOTO-OPPORTUNITY: If you wish to attend this ‘freeze the fee’ demo at 23 Portland Place, London W18 1PZ at 09.00 on Wednesday, 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.