Wage cut for Royal Free nurses delayed after staff threaten no-show

PUBLISHED: 15:35 22 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:40 22 October 2018

Bank nurses pay at the Royal Free will be cut over the next three years. Picture: Lynn Cameron/PA Images

Bank nurses pay at the Royal Free will be cut over the next three years. Picture: Lynn Cameron/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

Wage cuts for nurses covering sick leave and other increases in demand at Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital have been postponed after workers threatened to cancel shifts en masse.

The Royal Free Hospital. Picture: Ken MearsThe Royal Free Hospital. Picture: Ken Mears

As revealed by the Ham&High last week, nurses on the “bank” – similar to a zero-hours system – are set to have their pay cut after a review by the hospital trust found they were earning more than their equivalents at selected trusts across London.

The reduction, of 79p an hour for band 5 staff and 91p for band 6 staff, will be phased in over the next three years. New staff will automatically get the lower rate. One nurse told the Ham&High the cut will cost her more than £5,000.

Bank nurses are workers who undertake shifts for a trust that can’t be covered by full-time workers’ regular hours. They can cover illness or extra demand for other reasons.

The delay is thought to be two to three weeks. The Royal College of Nursing is asking the trust to undertake further benchmarking against other NHS trusts. It has also asked trust bosses for a paper showing data comparisons across North Central London – the new STP (“sustainability and transformation partnership” area) covering the Royal Free.

The nurses are on contracts similar to zero-hour workers: they have no guaranteed shifts and no obligation to take the work offered to them, and don’t have employee sick pay.

Last week the trust told this newspaper that the cut wasn’t about “cutting staff pay”.

RCN senior officer Sue Lister said: “We are pleased to have negotiated a pause to any changes to the bank rates for critical care staff at the Royal Free. The rollout that was planned to take place was being rushed through without proper discussion and was threatening to harm not only the safe staffing of vital services but also the pockets of our members.

“We will be continuing to meet with trust management on behalf of our members and are determined to ensure that decisions made around bank rates deliver the best outcome for staff and the services they work in.”

Unison has also been advising affected staff.

A spokesperson for the Royal Free Hospital said: “The trust can confirm it is still drawing up plans to bring the hourly rate paid to staff, who choose to work on its bank, in line with other NHS trusts.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

I live in the north west of London in the United Kingdom. Like the rest of the country, I have been looking on in bewilderment at the Brexit deal while politicians on both sides of the house vie for political supremacy. Divisions in government make for good news headlines but do nothing for the public’s confidence in its institutions.

Fri, 16:24

Normally we celebrate one business of the week – but today we’ve got three!

Fri, 15:17

A Routemaster bus will take 72 passengers on a journey through Greek Cypriot history, via Camden and Holloway, on Sunday.

Fri, 12:12

The latest twist in the saga of a Hampstead landlord who refuses to pay a controversial levy saw him bring a top barrister to his court hearing.

Fri, 09:48

Opponents of the 100 Avenue Road development suffered a major blow last night as Camden voted through a controversial plan that will funnel seven lorries a day through residential streets in Swiss Cottage.

Thu, 17:35

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Thu, 12:44

The Temple Fortune community was celebrating on Tuesday after Barnet’s Finchley and Golders Green planning committee unanimously rejected plans to build housing on the old Templars Tennis Club.

Thu, 12:10

Tens of thousands of pounds, weapons and drugs were seized after searching a garage in the Peckwater Estate on Tuesday morning.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now