After the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) decision to raise its yearly registration fee from £76 to £120, UNISON is calling on all members to sign an e-petition in order to get the issue debated in the UK parliament.
The e-petition is at: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/34101
Over 45,000 people have already signed the petition and when a petition reaches 100,000 signatures it has to be debated in the House of Commons. The NMC is trying to justify the 58% increase in fees by claiming that it is due to a rise in the number of fitness to practice cases and the costs associated with them.
UNISON says that serious questions need to be asked about the financial management of the troubled regulatory body, which has been in special measures since 2008, and has had 6 chief executives and 3 chairs in that time.
Registration with the NMC is, in effect, a licence to practise and is compulsory for any nurse or midwife wishing to practise in the UK. Unlike other health workers such as admin & clerical or ancillary staff who are also struggling to make ends meet, nurses and midwives must pay professional registration fees every year or they cannot work.
Gail Adams, UNISON Head of Nursing said: “Hard pressed nurses and midwives will rightly be very angry about plans to make them pay more to allow them to work.”
“Not only have nurses and midwives had their pay frozen for 2 years, with 2 more years of pay austerity on the horizon, they are also having to pay more for their pensions.”
“The UK government should start applying serious scrutiny to the NMC and 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 UK government’s failure to police this body properly.”
UNISON is calling on the NMC to undertake an urgent review of its financial systems and has made it clear that it does not support the NMC fees increase.