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Press Release Press Release Press Release Press  Release   

 

27 January 2003

 

 

SCHOOL NURSES ARE REVOLTING – THAT’S OFFICIAL

 

Lowly paid school nurses are revolting – and they have got the badge to prove it.

School nurses - the Cinderellas of nursing – earn thousands of pounds less a year than other community nurse colleagues, although their day-to-day responsibilities are just as great.

And to highlight their plight, the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association, which represents the majority of the UK’s 2,500 school nurse workforce, has produced a badge with the slogan School Nurses are Revolting.

Pat Jackson, the CPHVA’s Professional Officer for School Health said: ‘While the badge is a bit of fun, there is a serious purpose behind it – raising the school nurses’ pay from scales E and F to Scale G.’

School nurses get paid considerable less than other community nurse colleagues, even though they have the equivalent qualifications. This is unjust.’

Since the campaign began a year ago, the CPHVA, along with amicus-MSF colleagues, has chalked up regrading victories in Newcastle and Carlisle. Many more claims are in the pipeline.

School nurses should bang in their claims now - and the CPHVA will pursue them with the employers,’ said Pat Jackson.

The CPHVA/amicus-MSF’s Making The Grade, Grading Guidance and School Nurses Salary Survey 2001 said: ‘It would appear that although school nurses have to have the appropriate qualifications – many are working for diplomas or degrees – they are unfairly discriminated against in comparison to other similarly qualified community nurses for whom ‘G’ is the minimum grade.’

The survey said that historically school nursing used to be perceived as ‘the sticking plaster’ in the community
with a limited role and virtually no career development.

However, in recent years the school nurse’s role has undergone several significant changes "with increased autonomy and added responsibilities" which forms the basis of the grading claim.

The CPHVA blames some trusts for using "wheezes" - such as claiming the clinical grading structure is out of date or that some school nurses work term-time only - to avoid upgrading school nurses. Instead cost cutting by stealth has been the employers’ approach.

 

Pat Jackson added: ‘Another excuse that is trotted out by employers is that Agenda for Change is just around the corner, so let’s wait. But school nurses are doing the job now and should be paid now.’

-ends-

NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS

Shaun Noble Communications Officer ( (020) 7939 7043

mobile ( 07768 69 39 40

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA website: amicus-cphva.org

The CPHVA - the UK’s third largest nursing union - represents health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses, district nurses and nursery nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The CPHVA is a professional section of the Amicus trade union

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