10 things to say about pay

The Fair Pay for Nursing campaign is vitally important – if nursing staff aren’t paid fairly, thousands of unfilled nursing jobs can’t be filled. Nursing staff are forced to work under unsustainable pressure and patients do not receive the care they need.  

RCN members are urged to talk to colleagues, friends and families about the campaign, by using these talking points, to make sure the importance of fair pay to recruit and retain nursing staff and protect patient safety is understood.

1. Members set our pay claim at 12.5% in August 2020. This would begin to recognise the skill and professionalism of nursing staff, encourage the next generation to join nursing and keep experienced staff in post. 

2. The UK government has made a 3% pay award to nursing staff in England a 3% award, and the Welsh government have given their nursing staff the same. The award is brutally unfair when the government expects inflation to run far higher. It’s a pay cut - fact

3. It’s simple: patients suffer when nursing levels drop. Big change is needed to fill the tens of thousands of nursing jobs – fair pay is one step towards helping to achieve this.

4. It’s affordable: funding health and social care is a political choice. The government can choose to put the money into NHS staff to boost economies and living standards, and protect the safety of patients. They cannot afford not to do this.

5. Members in England and Wales have voted following a consultation period this summer and made their feelings clear. Of the significant number of members who voted, 92% of in England and 94% in Wales said the award is unacceptable. Read more here.

6. Scottish members voted to reject a pay deal in May this year and are now in dispute with the Scottish government and NHS Scotland employers.

7. Nursing staff in Northern Ireland shouldn’t be kept waiting for news of their pay award this year. Our members will be consulted as soon as the award is known.

8. The fight for fair pay continues. We all need to take collective action and spread the word about this campaign and make sure members are keeping their details up to date through MyRCN so that they’re included in future consultations about pay. Get in touch with your local branch to strengthen the voice of nursing where you are.

9. Our friends and families can support the campaign by signing our petition to the Prime Minister calling for fair pay and talking about the campaign – Fair Pay for Nursing is everyone’s business.

10. Only together can we secure #FairPayForNursing – get involved in the campaign today.

Page last updated - 15/09/2021