Information on the Marie Curie pay offer

Below you can find a number of frequently asked questions regarding the pay offer to Marie Curie staff.

If you have any additional questions, you can get in touch at IndySectorPayCampaign@rcn.org.uk.

This pay offer relates to all clinical staff employed by Marie Curie across the UK. According to Marie Curie a clinical role includes all those appointed to the Agenda for Change and Marie Curie Nursing Service pay grades and also to employees appointed to the MCJES pay grades where professional registration is a requirement in the person specification, e.g. health or allied health professional, and that the role holder is required to do some clinical practice as part of their role either regularly as part of their role, and in order to be able to maintain their registration through revalidation.

The RCN has been campaigning for Fair Pay for Nursing and believe it is our members who should decide on any pay offer. This improved pay offer from Marie Curie has been received because of the determination of RCN members. Therefore, it is only right that RCN members should have the final say on the offer. The consultation runs from 25th November 2021 until 14th December 2021.

You can find more information about what this means for you in the RCN’s member briefing and the Marie Curie pay offer document. Both documents are included with the voting link that has been sent to all members. You can also email your questions to the RCN at IndySectorPayCampaign@rcn.org.uk.

Civica have emailed the ballot to members on the RCN's behalf. These have been sent to the email address you gave to the RCN when you joined, please check your personal email address as well as your work email address. Please look for an email from ‘CES’ on Thursday 25th November 2021 with the subject line ‘Marie Curie - pay consultation now open’. Members for whom we do not hold an email address have been written to. 

If you wish to request a replacement ballot, please contact Civica Election Services Ltd., the Independent Scrutineer and Returning Officer, at support@cesvotes.com or telephone 0208 889 9203. When contacting Civica please specify that you are contacting regarding the RCN Marie Curie consultative ballot.

This consultative ballot is a confidential ballot being conducted by Civica on behalf of the RCN. Neither the RCN nor Marie Curie will know which members voted in the ballot nor how they voted. At the close of the ballot Civica will inform the RCN how many members with pay mirroring Agenda for Change and how many members with pay that does not mirror Agenda for Change have voted in favour of accepting the pay offer and how many have voted to reject the offer. They will also break down results into each of the four UK countries. The RCN will then inform Marie Curie of these outcome. 

The RCN recognises the new offer from Marie Curie is a significant improvement on the original offer. The updated offer maintains the link with NHS Agenda for Change (AfC) for those members whose pay already mirrors AfC. Also, by improving unsocial hours rates, the offer closes the gap between those members whose pay mirrors AfC and those members whose pay does not mirror AfC. 

The RCN also recognises that despite this progress the offer does not yet achieve full parity between the two groups. The RCN believes that all nurses and nursing support workers, wherever they work, should receive pay and terms and conditions at least as favourable as those received by members working in the NHS. 

Taking all matters into account, the RCN has decided not to make a recommendation on whether members should accept or reject this offer. It is for members employed by Marie Curie to decide whether the current offer is acceptable or unacceptable. The pros and cons of accepting or rejecting the offer are set out in more detail in the RCN member briefing included with the voting link that has been sent to all members.

The result will be considered by the RCN Trade Union Committee, which is made up of elected representatives of the RCN membership. They will agree the RCN’s formal response to the pay offer, that will be reported back to Marie Curie.

If RCN members vote to accept the offer, we will notify Marie Curie that RCN members accept the pay offer. If RCN members vote to reject the pay offer, we will seek to negotiate another improved offer with Marie Curie. We would then consult with members again on any new offer once it is made.

This ballot is to decide whether members accept or reject the new pay offer from Marie Curie. It is not a ballot on Industrial Action. If members vote to reject the pay offer, we will try to negotiate an improved offer on members behalf. We would then seek member views on any further offers through further consultative ballots. If we are unsuccessful in persuading Marie Curie to improve their offer further, or if members reject all further offers, then we would seek member views on how they would like to proceed.

Industrial Action is always a last resort. RCN members can only take Industrial Action if the majority of members vote in favour through a formal Industrial Action ballot and only if the statutory thresholds on turnout are met. 

The updated pay offer from Marie Curie is different for each country in the UK and differs depending on whether your pay currently mirrors AfC or not. For this reason, the consultative ballot will ask members to indicate whether, prior to the current pay offer, your pay mirrored AfC. We need to understand if members whose pay mirrors AfC feel the same about the offer as members whose pay does not mirror AfC.

Members whose pay mirrors AfC receive annual cost of living uplifts in line with the AfC pay rates in the country where they work and may receive increments on the anniversary of when they commenced their current role. They also receive the AfC unsocial hours enhancements and where appropriate, high-cost area supplements. They have the same entitlement to sick pay and annual leave as those employed in the NHS but do not get the same rates of maternity pay or redundancy pay.

Members whose pay does not mirror AfC, may have a pay band and basic rate of pay equal to the top of the equivalent NHS band, but members do not get annual increments on the date they started in their role nor, the same level of enhanced pay rates when they work at unsocial times. They may also have different sick pay and annual leave entitlements depending on their length of service.
Most members who work in a Marie Curie hospice receive pay that mirrors AfC in their country. Most members who work in a community role or in roles that do not involve providing direct patient care, do not have pay that mirrors AfC. If you are unsure which group you are in, you should check your contract of employment or ask your manager whether your pay mirrors the NHS pay system.

 

This pay offer from Marie Curie maintains the link with Agenda for Change in the country where members work. This means that if the offer is accepted, members whose pay mirrors Agenda for Change should continue to receive pay awards given to their colleagues in the NHS.

Members whose pay mirrors AfC in England or Wales will receive a 3% uplift to their pay backdated to 1st April 2021 to mirror the uplift paid to NHS employees in those countries.

Members working in Scotland whose pay mirrors AfC will receive a pay uplift that will vary depending on their band for the year 2021/22. The average rise will be 4% but members should check Marie Curie’s briefing for details of the rise for their band. These rises will be backdated to 1st December 2020 to mirror the uplift paid in the Scottish NHS.

Members working in Northern Ireland whose pay mirrors AfC will receive a 3% pay uplift backdated to 1st April 2021 for the year 2021/22, notwithstanding that the pay award for the NHS in Northern Ireland has yet to be determined. If the pay award for the NHS in Northern Ireland ends up being higher than 3%, members will receive backdated pay based on the higher %. If the pay award for the NHS in Northern Ireland is lower than 3%, members employed by Marie Curie will retain their 3% pay uplift.

If the offer is accepted, you will receive a pay increase that will vary depending on the country you work in. 

Members whose pay does not mirror AfC will also receive higher ‘unsocial hours’ enhancements when they work at weekends or bank holidays. These improved rates will be paid for shifts worked from 1st January 2022. Details of the enhanced rates can be found in the RCN’s member briefing and the Marie Curie pay offer document. Both  documents are included with the voting link that has been sent to all members.

For members working in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland whose pay does not currently align with AfC, the uplift you will receive will be equal to 3% of your current pay. This rise will be backdated to 1st April 2021. 

Members working in Scotland whose pay does not currently align with AfC, will receive their pay uplift in 2 parts. The first part of the uplift will apply to the period 1st December 2020 to 31st March 2021 and will be based on their band and will equate to the same percentage uplift as that paid for AfC staff in Scotland. This means the average pay uplift for this period will be 4% but this will vary depending on band. 

The second part of the uplift in Scotland will be backdated to 1st April 2021. This will amend base pay rates from aligning with the top pay point of the equivalent English AfC band to now align with the top pay point of the equivalent Scottish AfC band including the 2021/22 pay uplift. The value of this second part of the pay uplift will vary depending on band, so members should check Marie Curie’s briefing.

The offer is a gross figure, and you need to take deductions into account when considering the pay offer.

Pay is subject to tax and national insurance contributions. Members should check the current income tax and national insurance rates to assess how the pay offer will affect their take-home pay.

Rises in pensionable pay are also subject to increases in pension deductions. Find out more about pension contributions here.

The effect on an individual’s benefit depends on individual circumstances and the type of benefit. Members who are on means-tested benefits, such as universal credit, should consider the implications of the current Marie Curie offer before voting to reject or accept it in the RCN’s consultative ballot.

To check your benefit situation, call the Citizens Advice Helpline on 0800 144 8848 (England), 0800 702 2020 (Wales), 0800 028 1456 (Scotland), Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Calls are free. There is currently no countywide helpline number for Citizens Advice in Northern Ireland, so members working there may need to search online for their local Citizens Advice service.

Part-time workers are included in the pay offer and are being offered the same percentage increases to their current wages as their full-time colleagues.

Members who belong to the NHS pension scheme will receive a pension based on either their final salary or their career average salary depending on which section of the scheme they belong to (this is called a defined benefit pension scheme). Members of most other pension schemes (called defined contribution schemes) pay a proportion of their wages into their pension, as does their employer. The pension these members receive is determined by how much is paid into this pension and how it is invested by the pension provider. For most members in any of these pension schemes, receiving a higher wage may to lead to a larger pension, but exactly what the impact of this pay offer will be will depend on individual members’ circumstances.

The RCN cannot give members individual advice on the impact of this pay offer on their pension. Members who wish to know more about their pension should consult their pension provider in the first instance and then take up financial advice if necessary.