Nurses driven to food banks by low wages

By Mairi Dougan

Nurses are being forced to use food banks because their pay does not cover basic living costs.

A below-inflation pay rise has prompted the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to launch an online survey to determine whether members support industrial action.

Senior RCN Officer, Anne Thomson, said:

“In real terms, nurses’ pay has fallen by ten percent since 2010.

“Many nurses are now really struggling and contemplating what they have to do to get the government to recognise the problems this is causing.”

The RCN says low wages are driving nurses out of the profession and discouraging potential new recruits.

Those who stay in the role often need to take on a second job to supplement their income, which Anne says is affecting staff morale and patient safety.

She is also asking the public to rally round the nurses, saying:

“Nurses will never do anything to harm patient care.

“Strikes may affect the timing of operations, though.

“It’s in everyone’s interest to ensure we have properly-paid nurses who are able to do their jobs.”

Photo credit: Flickr

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