Fighting for your pay

Published: 21 March 2014

RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, Dr Peter Carter’s, latest update on pay for members: “Together, we can fight for a fairer deal but we need you to get involved.”

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Anger at pay decision

The RCN has reacted angrily to the Government’s decision not to award a cost of living increase to the majority of NHS staff. The decision ignores the recommendation of the independent pay review body for NHS staff.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN, said: "The Government is once again ignoring the independent pay review body, holding the Agenda for Change pay system to ransom, while expecting NHS staff to be grateful while their contractually agreed terms of employment are torn up."

The argument that the NHS cannot afford to honour the recommendations of the independent pay review body simply does not stack up. What the NHS cannot afford to do is continue a policy of treating hard working and loyal staff with contempt, at a time when morale is at an all time low and trusts around the country struggle to retain and recruit enough nurses to maintain safe staffing levels. 

The decision means that less than half of nursing staff at the top of their pay increment will get a 1% rise. Other nursing staff get what they are contractually entitled to, if they can demonstrate they have developed their skills in the previous year.

Dr Carter added: "To suggest that incremental pay is the same as a pay uplift, or that NHS staff are simply being rewarded for time served is to either deliberately mislead or to fundamentally misunderstand how NHS pay works. Incremental pay is used in the private and public sectors and is only awarded to NHS staff when they can demonstrate that they have developed their skills."

Find out more about the Government’s pay decision

The RCN has long campaigned on this issue on members’ behalf. In September 2013 we submitted evidence to the Pay Review Body and responded to the Department of Health's Pay Review Body evidence based on evidence from our members. Dr Peter Carter warned that it was "completely unfair to say that a pay increase of just 1%, following years of real-terms pay cuts, will prevent employers from recruiting more nurses and put patient safety at risk."

We're here for you

If you need to talk to someone about your pay please call the RCN Direct advice line on 0345 772 6100 between 8.30am and 8.30pm, available seven days a week.