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AIBU to think Jeremy Hunt is unfair to put conditions on the nurses pay rise

(109 Posts)
sodapop Thu 15-Mar-18 15:59:16

It's suggested that nurses give up a days holiday to receive a 6.5% rise over three years.
Why are nurses treated so badly by successive Governments

durhamjen Thu 15-Mar-18 22:57:03

maryeliza54 Thu 15-Mar-18 23:36:48

So MO did you really not know that the minimum holiday in this country is 28 days - why on earth did you use an example of a fortnight? And sod the emotional outburst comment - I know far too many hard working dedicated public sector workers that are bearing the brunt of long term pay cuts so I’ll be as emotional as I want

Eloethan Fri 16-Mar-18 00:57:11

The fact remains that it is very difficult to recruit and retain nurses now, and there are significant staff shortages as a result. The same applies to teachers and, I believe, to doctors.

The suggested pay rise is fairly paltry. 6% is not that much when: a day's holiday is to be lost; the pay increase is to be spread over three years; there have been no increases for several years; throughout that period inflation has increased and is increasing faster now; the demands on nurses are much higher due to staff shortages.

Even if you personally feel the pay proposal is good (which I don't), is it likely to be enough to encourage more people to take up nursing and remain in the profession?

M0nica Fri 16-Mar-18 06:38:06

I missed Jalima's post. Now I have read it, I think nurses have a very generous leave entitlement. DH and DD have never had more than 4 weeks leave, neither did I except when I worked for a Public Utility. It seems a reasonable quid pro quo

Momof3 Fri 16-Mar-18 08:34:39

Ok MOnica I’m going to bite as i’m a paediatric nurse, the annual leave entitlement that everyone is talking about includes all the bank holidays that nurses are obviously expected to work. This also includes the fact nurses works 12/13 hour shift on bank holidays.

Also the fact that nursing is now a degree entry profession requiring good a levels to enter the degree program and could have quite easily studied a degree that would have enabled them to earn double/triple the salary. Nurses have not had a pay rise in years and even this pay rise is woeful given the rise in the cost of living. Surely it’s petty and childish to take a days annual leave away.

On the emotional side when you have held a mom screaming because her child has died, been told by a parent that you don’t like their baby because she has been told that treatment will stop and her baby will die. Seen a mom on her 1st mother’s day have to plan her babies death. Withdrawn treatment on a child, seen healthy children have their lives changed for ever by brain damage or awful non repairable injuries. I don’t think a days annual leave makes a lot of different in the grand scheme of things but maybe gives that nurse a little extra downtime.

Momof3 Fri 16-Mar-18 08:35:30

Also members of parliament have generous annual leave

sodapop Fri 16-Mar-18 08:46:37

Yes I haven't seen any conditions attached to the increases MPs get.
I agree with Momof3 it is indeed petty.

M0nica Fri 16-Mar-18 09:05:32

But these sort of arguments can be made for any of the emergency services and the armed forces and many other industry groups. Many of the emergency services work long and irregular shifts. Many: armed services, police, firemen lay their lives on the line

I am aware that the leave figures include bank holidays, most leave figures do. It is the norm.

I find I am getting resistant to the emotional arguments as they have been overused, like the little boy crying wolf. It has been called so often that I can no longer tell when it really does justify the response to some government restriction and when it doesn't.

When you choose a career, you know the salary levels, and while this does not justify being paid poorly, it is a risk you take when you enter it. DS is a university lecturer. In the New Scientist this week there is a ranking of average pay in various STEM careers. University lecturers are the worst paid. DH knew this when he chose the career he wanted to follow.

I have no opinion on the rights and wrongs of the pay package offered to nurses.. I merely observe that their leave entitlement is generous and that they are not alone in not having received proper pay rises over the last 10 years.

durhamjen Fri 16-Mar-18 09:28:59

Hope you don't have to go into hospital soon, Monica, and rely on those overworked underpaid nurses.

When you said you never got more than 28 days holiday, that did not include 8 days for bank holidays, did it?

eazybee Fri 16-Mar-18 09:42:34

In 1987 the National Union of Teachers teachers agreed to lose a week's holiday (which was used as separate Training Days, still in force) in return for a pay rise of £2000, plus the introduction of Directed Hours and a whole raft of changes.
I am aware that teachers still have generous holiday entitlement, but they all work considerably longer hours than they used to and pay £9000 for their training.
I am not comparing, just commenting.

durhamjen Fri 16-Mar-18 09:54:21

£2000 pay rise 30 years ago was quite substantial, though.
I was in the other union and voted against it. The new contract said that you could work any hours the head saw fit. The head I worked for at the time would have had us sleeping at the school if he could have done.

Cold Fri 16-Mar-18 10:21:55

I missed Jalima's post. Now I have read it, I think nurses have a very generous leave entitlement. DH and DD have never had more than 4 weeks leave, neither did I except when I worked for a Public Utility. It seems a reasonable quid pro quo

It must be a long time ago as the national legal minimum annual leave in the UK is 5.6 weeks - it includes paid bankholidays

I think Hunt is being very mean in his bean counting as most nurses I know cannot guarantee being able to get their statutory meal breaks and struggle to go to the toilet.

But then again MP's have received pay rises of over 16% under "austerity" without parliament sitting extra days and reducing the 80+ days a year that they do not attend parliament.

trisher Fri 16-Mar-18 10:23:06

If we are going back in time maybe we should look at al the greements reached with the miners over the years- or maybe it's just best to stay in the present. Jeremy Hunt is a c--- who has tried many times to turn the public against the NHS and anyone who works for it. He targeted the junior doctors and now he's after the nurses. His ultimate aim is of course the privatisation of those areas of the NHS his friends can make money on. And of course it's not right. Nurses are stretched to their limits and deserve a pay rise. More and more are turning to agency work for the fexibility and the pay and really you can't blame them.

BonnieBlooming Fri 16-Mar-18 13:01:50

My daughter is a midwife. She works 13 hour shifts in a unit that is constantly understaffed. At the moment she works in post natal where they are under pressure every shift to get new mum's dischargedn as quickly as possible (sometimes dangerous and no time to help new mum's with breast feeding etc) to make room for those newly delivered. It is a stressful, pressured environment where my daughter can work a full shift without even a cup of tea never mind a proper break. Oh and here in NI she hasn't had a pay rise in 7 years.Every shift she works she has responsibility for not just the mum but her baby. To my mind she needs her leave and could not be paid enough!!!

Eloethan Fri 16-Mar-18 15:03:33

MOnica It is true that people choose the career they do and know what the pay and conditions are. But the point is that at the moment fewer and fewer people are choosing to go into nursing and it is difficult to hang on to those that do.

Some people do have what I suppose could be described as a "vocation" and may be prepared to put up with long hours, increased responsibilities and dwindling pay. However, the majority of people, even those that have a genuine desire to care for others, do have a "breaking point" where they can no longer justify the damage done to their own wellbeing and that of their families in remaining in a job that leaves them exhausted and demoralised.

You were upset about the pay and conditions and the proposed cut in pension that your son, who is a lecturer, is affected by. Would it be reasonable then for someone to say "Well, he wasn't forced to take up that career, he knew what the pay, conditions and prospects were"? In my view it would not be reasonable.

Nurses and other NHS staff are in a similar position to other public service workers - increasing responsibility and workload, pay out of kilter with inflation, and a pension scheme that has already been altered to their detriment.

M0nica Fri 16-Mar-18 17:22:53

I have never ever believed that choosing a vocational job or one where salaries are lower is an excuse for paying badly. Everyone should get the fair rate for the job.

My DS is an academic, presently on strike, His job does not have the 'glamour' of nursing, but he commented today that he has been on strike for 14 days and will lose nearly three weeks pay this month but if you add up all the unpaid overtime he has done this year alone, despite the strikes, it exceed the number of hours lost to the strike.

Iam64 Fri 16-Mar-18 18:00:38

I have friends and family who are academics. How nursing could be seen as a more ‘glamourus’ job than academia is beyond me. Workers who strike always make financial losses and lose when their pension is calculated and any strike days discounted.
The issue here is whether as a country we should have pay and conditions that are attractive enough for us to recruit and retain nurses. We don’t.

trisher Fri 16-Mar-18 18:30:04

M0nica your DS is fortunate that he can exercise his right to withdraw his labour without being pilloried or accused of causing harm to those he cares for. (although I believe there is currently a movement amongst students to request a refund of their fees equivalent to the time lost). Nurses can't do that.
As for a glamorous job when did nursing become that? Dealing with blood, urine and faeces, dressing wounds, helping with operations,is that really glamorous?

minesaprosecco Fri 16-Mar-18 19:19:44

MOnica, I can't believe that you used the word 'glamour' as an adjective for nursing! It certainly is not. And the facts that your son is hard working, or that he is on strike, or that anyone in your family has never had more than 4 weeks holiday are totally irrelevant to this thread. So, in answer to the OP, yes, Jeremy Hunt is being unfair - but that's nothing new, is it?! The nurses should NOT be asked to give up any leave in return for a measly 6.5% over three years and it is ridiculous comparing their pay and conditions with any other profession.

Jalima1108 Fri 16-Mar-18 19:48:46

don't forget sick trisher
I could deal with anything except for sick, hence I never became a nurse. However, some of my family are now nurses, some of the family trained at Guy's in the 1910s and it was considered to be a prestigious and admired profession.

I wonder how many nurses work more than their contracted hours for no extra pay?

M0nica Fri 16-Mar-18 21:06:08

minesaprosecco/trisher Didn't you see the quote marks? It means the rather silly public attitude to nurses, as 'angels' and all the rest, rather than sheer hard graft it really is.

jacq10 Fri 16-Mar-18 22:22:38

I'm not sure how to word my post but just want to say I'm currently at our local hospital twice a day and when the word "glamour" was used here even in quotes I couldn't believe it. This afternoon a nurse had to attend to a patient who had soiled himself at least twice in one hour and watched nurses run from one bed to another continuously adjusting all types of apparatus, heave beds with patients in from one ward to another, mark up notes, serve afternoon tea and coffee to patients and then do the same over again this evening while settling their patients for the night before their 12hr shift finished. The word "Angels" certainly springs to mind and they deserve any rise they are fighting for!

Baggs Sat 17-Mar-18 07:29:25

The argument about how hard nurses work and how the term "Angels" to describe them springs to mind is exactly what M0nica was talking about. It reinforces what she said, that nursing is hard graft.

Not being able to get a cup of tea in a long shift or even go to the loo often enough should be seen as dangerous working conditions. I trust the nursing unions are fighting that. I'd be willing to give up some annual leave to be comfortable (able to work without a full bladder and an empty stomach) during my shift. It shouldn't have got to that stage though.

Do nurses really all need degrees? A lot of nursing is 'care' work. Care workers don't need degrees.

Iam64 Sat 17-Mar-18 08:22:03

Why should nurses give up annual leave to be able to work 'without a full bladder and an empty stomach'?

I'd much rather be given nursing care when I need it - there are a number of less qualified staff on the wards, let's not dismiss the need for training to a decent level because some nurses also offer 'care'.

sodapop Sat 17-Mar-18 08:34:16

We could go back to the days of Nursing Assistants and qualified staff, a two tier system. Nursing is very much more technical now in a lot of areas and needs people able to manage this. Bedside care of patients is never to be under estimated, patients need to be comforted, kept clean , ensure they have enough to eat and drink etc.