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.

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 is understood and acted on.

1. It’s a matter of safety
There are currently tens of thousands of nursing vacancies across the UK. Fair pay is an obvious way to retain and recruit nursing staff and achieve staffing levels that are safe for members and patients.

2. It’s affordable
Funding health and social care is a political choice. Governments can choose to put the money into the NHS. They cannot afford not to do this.

3. It’s sustainable
Our health and care services are overwhelmed. Paying nursing staff fairly helps build a workforce that can meet the needs of the population now and in the future.

4. It’s a political choice
Governments across the UK can do the right thing by nursing at any time. We are a patient safety-critical profession that the government must protect.

5. For 2021/22
The UK Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive gave nursing staff a 3% pay award. The Scottish government implemented a 4% pay offer for the majority of nursing staff These awards are brutally unfair considering living costs, the reality of your work and the staffing crisis.

6. In ballots during 2021
Members in England, Scotland and Wales made clear these pay awards are unacceptable, and a significant number said they’re willing to take industrial action. With this energy and determination, we must step up our fight for fair pay. Members in Northern Ireland will be voting on a 3% pay award in the new year.

7. Our strength is in our numbers
If we were to ever take industrial action, at least 50% of members would need to vote in a ballot. Decision makers need to see enough members demand change.

8. We can make a difference
Through successful campaigning, members have secured pay parity in Northern Ireland, scrapped the public sector pay cap, reintroduced financial support for students and improved working conditions during the pandemic.

9. The fight for fair pay continues
Now more than ever, we must maintain momentum in the campaign. We need to demand change for ourselves, our profession and our patients to achieve fair pay.

10. Change starts with you
Having conversations with colleagues is the single most important thing you can do. Watch and share this video to help take the campaign further.

Page last updated - 16/12/2021