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Date: Monday 21 May 2012

Nurses and midwives should not be held to ransom says UNISON as unions condemn 60% registration fee hike

'Scottish Chief Nursing Officer must intervene' says nursing union

UNISON Scotland, is condemning plans that will see the yearly registration fee that must be paid by every nurse and midwife increase by over 60%. This move comes at the same time as pension contribution increases mean that every nurse or midwife attempting to save for their future has just had their take home pay reduced.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has announced that it will begin consulting on raising the annual fee that nurses and midwifes have to pay to work from £76 to £120 per year. The last fee increase came in 2007, when nurses were asked to pay more to allow the NMC to build up its reserves.

The union said that serious questions need to be asked about financial management at the troubled regulatory body, which has been in special measures since 2008, and has had six chief executives and three chairs in that time.

Bridget Hunter, UNISON Scotland's lead officer for nursing said:
“Hard pressed nurses and midwives will rightly be very angry about plans to make them pay more to work. Many of these vital health workers and their families are already struggling to make ends meet. Not only have they had their pay frozen for two years, cutbacks in the Health Service mean that many newly qualified nurses are finding it difficult to get jobs and may question the value of trying to stay in the profession.

“The government cannot stand by and let the pressure keep piling onto nurses and midwives. Not only should it start applying serious scrutiny to the NMC, it must also step in and persuade the council that now is not the time to raise its fees. Health workers should not have to pay the price for the NMC’s own failures and for the government’s failure to police this body properly.

"We hope that Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer, Ros Moore will add her voice to those opposing this desperately unfair hike in fees. ”

UNISON is seeking an urgent meeting with the NMC and with ministers, and is calling on the NMC to undertake an urgent review of its financial systems. The union made it clear that it will not support the fee rise.


For further information
Bridget Hunter, lead officer for nursing- 07958 120 780