There has been discussion of how much nurses get paid and whether they can get more than a 1% increase during the pay cap. I thought it would be a good idea to report the scales published on the web and invite comment on what would be the right answer on their future pay.
According to the official sites a nurse currently starts on £22,128 a year. This rises to £28,746 a year over a seven year period, with increments of 4% in all but the first year when it is a 2.5% increase. In inner London the sums are £26,553 rising to £34,495. In outer London the nurse receives 15% more than the national scale. The nurse would also receive whatever general pay award there was on top of the annual increment. The site says ” Staff will normally progress to the next paypoint annually until they reach the top of the pay band.”
If a nurse becomes a senior nurse or a specialist nurse the pay scale then rises further, up to £35,577, or £42,692 in London.
The 1% overall cap does not mean that a public sector employee only gets 1%. These annual increments are available in some jobs other than nursing as well. An individual may well get promoted and receive better pay for more responsibility, or undertake further training and get higher pay for more skills.
There are two issues to discuss. Are the starting levels too low, and are the annual increments correct?
The government has sought to tackle low pay at the bottom end of the payscale by increasing the Minimum/Living wage for those in the unskilled jobs. The pay for someone on the minimum in 2010 has risen by £3200 a year (full time on the minimum) , taking the hourly rate from £5.93 to £7.50, an increase of 26% over that period. Further increases are planned as it is still low. These increases were of course exempt from the pay cap.