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UK nursing strikes: Which countries pay nurses the most and the least in Europe?

As much as 100,000 nurses within the UK will go on strike on December 20 for extra pay after a primary strike on December 15. These would be the first strikes within the 106-year historical past of their union, the Royal Faculty of Nursing (RCN), and the most important within the historical past of the nation’s NHS.

Wage and inflation figures recommend that this shouldn’t be a shock. Annual gross salaries of hospital nurses within the UK elevated by 10 per cent in nominal phrases however fell by 6 per cent in actual phrases between 2010 and 2019 in response to a dataset launched by the Organisation for Financial Co-operation and Improvement (OECD).

The UK isn’t the one nation by which well being staff went on strike in 2022.

In Spain, hundreds of well being personnel, together with medical doctors working in emergency companies, had been on strike in November. In addition to a substantial improve of their wages, they requested extra workers and extra sources.

In France, well being staff joined protests in a number of cities in June with related calls for. Medical doctors in Germany went on strike in March.

In Turkey, well being personnel went on strike for higher fee and work circumstances in March. In addition they took to the streets in a number of Turkish cities in July to name for extra motion to forestall violence after a heart specialist was shot useless by a affected person’s relative.

In keeping with the Turkish Medical Affiliation, hundreds of Turkish medical doctors have left their posts to work overseas over the previous decade. They principally desire to maneuver to Western nations, particularly Germany.

Well being personnel, notably hospital nurses, have labored ceaselessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In lots of European nations, they’re demanding higher wages, improved working circumstances, and extra sources.

How a lot are nurses paid in Europe? Which nations pay nurses essentially the most and the least, and the way a lot have nurses’ salaries modified within the final decade?

There are vital variations in nurses’ salaries throughout Europe.

In 2020 or the closest 12 months with accessible knowledge, official annual gross salaries in hospitals ranged from about €11,880 in Lithuania to €101,151 in Luxembourg, in response to the OECD. The dataset contains 25 European nations.

Annual gross salaries of nurses (2020)

 In addition to Luxembourg, the annual gross beginning wage was above €50,000 in seven nations. Germany (€46,829) and the UK (€42,588) aren’t amongst them, in response to OECD knowledge.

Nurses in France and Italy earn half what they do in Belgium and Switzerland

The annual wage for a nurse in France (€35,531) or Italy (€29,222) was lower than half the annual wage in Belgium (€72,508) and nearly precisely half that in Switzerland (€70,965).

With the bottom salaries for nurses, Lithuania (€11,880) is adopted by Turkey (€12,172) and Latvia (€13,551).

Salaries and buying energy parity

The rating modifications once we have a look at salaries by way of buying energy parity (PPP). PPP is an indicator of value stage variations. In different phrases, it reveals what number of foreign money items a specific amount of products or companies prices in several nations.

The usage of PPP can “eradicate the impact of value stage variations throughout nations,” in response to Eurostat as it may be used as a foreign money conversion fee of kinds to transform expenditures expressed in nationwide currencies into a synthetic frequent foreign money.

In 2020, nurses’ PPP-based salaries ranged from €18,700 in Lithuania to €66,800 in Luxembourg. The common amongst 20 EU nations was €35,300. Whereas the gaps in PPP between nations are narrower in comparison with the variations in nominal salaries, they nonetheless range considerably.

Belgium (€62,300) and the Netherlands (€50,600) observe Luxembourg by way of highest PPP-based salaries. On the backside, Lithuania is adopted by Latvia (€18,800) and Portugal (€21,400). 

Annual gross salaries of nurses by way of buying energy parity (2020*)

In Finland (€31,200), the PPP-based wage of nurses was decrease than the EU common.

Remarkably, Turkey (€31,700) had a better PPP-based wage for nurses than a number of EU nations comparable to Finland, Italy, and Greece.

Nurses are paid lower than the typical wage in France

The ratio of nurses’ salaries to common wages in every county can also be a helpful indicator. The common wage in a rustic is predicated on the entire wages paid and the typical variety of workers within the whole financial system.

In 2020, the ratio of a nurse’s wage to the typical wage diverse from 0.88 in Lithuania to 1.58 in Belgium. Which means that nurses in Belgium earn 1.58 instances greater than the typical wage within the nation. This ratio was 1.2 on common for 20 EU nations.

In Finland, Latvia, France, Switzerland, and Lithuania, nurses are paid lower than the nation’s common wage. The ratio of a nurse’s wage to the typical wage was 0.91 in France and 0.88 in Switzerland. Ratios had been greater in Spain (1.5), the Czech Republic (1.42), and Poland (1.36).

Ratio of nurses’ salaries to common wages

How have nurses’ salaries modified within the final decade?

The nominal change in annual gross salaries of nurses between 2010 and 2020 was highest in Iceland, the place wages rose by 123 per cent within the final decade. Nominal change refers to values obtained when inflation isn’t taken into consideration.

Some EU member states, comparable to Hungary (104 per cent), Estonia (94 per cent), the Czech Republic (92 per cent), and Slovakia (91 per cent), additionally noticed dramatic will increase on this interval. 

Nominal modifications in salaries of nurses in euro between 2010 and 2020

Nurses’ salaries fell in three European nations between 2010 and 2020: Norway (1 per cent), Italy (4 per cent), and Greece (16 per cent). In Norway, the lower was attributable to modifications within the change fee. 

Change in actual phrases: Decline within the UK and stagnation in France

Change in actual phrases is extra significant because it takes inflation into consideration. Amongst 9 chosen nations, salaries elevated in seven nations in actual phrases between 2010 and 2020 (Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Spain, and Belgium). Nonetheless, they declined by 6 per cent within the UK on this interval (2010-2019) and didn’t change in France.

Adjustments in salaries of nurses in actual phrases* between 2010 and 2020

A more in-depth have a look at the UK

After we look extra intently on the UK, the figures present how the salaries of nurses declined in actual phrases whereas nominal salaries rose between 2010 and 2019. Nominal wage and wage in actual phrases had been equal in 2010 at 100 factors. The nominal wage then always elevated, reaching 110 factors in 2019. Nonetheless, taking inflation into consideration, wage in actual phrases step by step decreased till 2017, reaching 93 factors, and elevated by just one level in 2019.

Annual gross salaries of nurses within the UK: Nominal wage and wage in actual phrases

This determine reveals that annual gross salaries of hospital nurses within the UK elevated by 10 per cent in nominal phrases however fell by 6 per cent in actual phrases between 2010 and 2019.

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