Your web browser is outdated and may be insecure

The RCN recommends using an updated browser such as Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome

Fair Pay For Nursing

What next for NHS pay

Members across the UK voted in ballots on the NHS pay awards made for 2021-22. A significant number made clear that the fight for fair pay will continue as the 2022-23 pay awards arrive. The RCN is clear that pay is a matter of safety amidst a staffing crisis and soaring cost of living. 

The RCN is working directly with politicians across the UK to make the case for an NHS pay award that is 5% above inflation. Read about the RCN’s pay position for 2022-23. Members will be asked what they think of the government’s pay award or offer – your strength will be in your numbers at this point, so make sure you are ready to engage.

Click on the country names below for more information on the campaign where you are.

In 2021, after the vast majority of members who voted in a consultation said that a 3% pay award is unacceptable, an indicative ballot was carried out from 4 – 30 November 2021. In this ballot, 89% said they’re willing to take action short of strike and 54% would be willing to withdraw their labour in strike action. The RCN is engaging with the NHS Pay Review Body process for the 2022-23 NHS pay award and has made a strong case for a pay rise that is 5% above inflation. The pay award is due later this year and members will be asked what they think.

In November 2021, the Northern Ireland Executive announced a 3% pay award for 2021-22 which members have been consulted on. Over 50% of eligible members in Northern Ireland voted and 92.2% said it is unacceptable. At the same time, for the 2022-23 pay round RCN Northern Ireland submitted supplementary evidence alongside UK-wide evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body, making it clear that nursing deserves a pay rise that is 5% above inflation. The pay award is due later this year and members will be asked what they think.

In 2021, members voted to reject the pay award, RCN Scotland lodged a trade dispute with the Scottish Government and in an indicative ballot 90% of members who voted said they’d be willing to take industrial action short of strike while 58% would be willing to withdraw their labour in strike action. Following this ballot, the Scottish Government has committed to negotiating with all unions in respect of the 2022/23 pay award and elected representatives are clear that the trade dispute and wider campaign continues. The RCN and other health unions will be negotiating directly with the Scottish government. A pay offer will be made later this year and members will be asked if they accept it or not.

In 2021, following a consultation in which 94% of members who voted said the 3% pay award is unacceptable, RCN Wales entered into a trade dispute with the Welsh government. In an indicative ballot held from 4 – 30 November, 91% of members who voted said they’re willing to take action short of strike and 56% would withdraw their labour in strike action. RCN Wales submitted supplementary evidence alongside UK-wide evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body, making it clear that nursing deserves a pay rise that is 5% above inflation. The pay award is due later this year and members will be asked what they think. Read more here.


How do governments decide NHS pay?

Have impactful conversations about your pay

Nursing has faced decades of underinvestment and staff are under huge pressure. Will you advocate for a fair pay rise to achieve a safely staffed workforce? Having effective conversations with colleagues creates lasting change.

Use this guide to talk to colleagues about the fight for fair pay today - your union’s strength comes from its members.

Unsustainable pressures

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified existing pressures on staffing and resources in all health and care settings.

This resource has been designed to support members in delivering safe and effective care and with the difficult decisions they make every day.

Fair Pay protest

How late is this year's NHS pay award?

The nursing profession is left waiting once again

MyRCN

Don’t miss the chance to have your say on pay wherever you are. Your details must be up to date to vote in ballots. Go to MyRCN and check your details are up to date so you can have your say when it matters 

Make sure ballots reach you so you can have your say

RCN campaigning app

The RCN campaigning app provides easy access to information, actions and the latest news related to the RCN’s campaigning priorities.

Visit our campaigning website for more information and to download the app. You can also watch videos showing how to add the app to your Android device or iPhone.

Industrial Action Handbook

The RCN Industrial Action Handbook is a comprehensive guide that explains the different types of action members can take and provides examples of how to organise action in the workplace.
Pat Cullen

By Summer, ministers must come back with a pay award that turns the tide on the years of unfilled nursing jobs and experienced professionals struggling to make ends meet.

Pat Cullen RCN Interim General Secretary and Chief Executive

Take action today

We have a wide variety of graphics and social media assets to download on our FPFN: Take action today page.