10 things to say about pay

We need our members to talk about the Fair Pay For Nursing campaign with their colleagues, friends and families to make sure the voice of nursing is heard loudly.

If you want to know the latest things to say about the campaign, you can use our campaign talking points below on this page.  

1. The RCN’s Fair Pay for Nursing campaign has been running since August 2020 – engaging members and the public on the urgent need for a 12.5% pay rise for nursing staff. Every MP in the country has heard directly from RCN members about what a large investment in nursing pay would mean personally and professionally.

2. Last year, the RCN asked every member how nursing should be valued after the pandemic. It is the first time the RCN engaged all members in deciding our pay claim – members are taking the key decisions.

3. The UK government revealed its hand for the first time in March and showed it is planning to give NHS only a 1% pay rise this year. This is pitiful and bitterly disappointing - nursing staff are worse off now than ten years ago and this is worth only £3.50 extra per week. The Scottish Government made an offer to NHS staff in Scotland too and members in Scotland are currently being consulted.

4. The RCN will continue to give formal evidence to the Pay Review Body until it makes a recommendation in summer 2021. We have been clear that any final pay award will be taken back to members and fully consulted on. 

5. The RCN, along with other unions, submitted our evidence to the PRB in January 2021 to make our case for a significant pay rise for nursing. Read our evidence to the PRB. We will maintain a campaign focused on government – only ministers have the power to set pay in the NHS. Read about how NHS pay is decided.

6. There is overwhelming public support for a pay rise for nursing this year. The public and RCN members have taken to social media in their tens of thousands to demand #FairPayForNursing. With many more signing the RCN’s petition to the Prime Minister for a 12.5% pay rise.

7. RCN Council set up a £35 million industrial action fund, following the government’s evidence submission to the PRB. Members are urged to keep their details up to date, including their workplace, so the RCN can contact members in future.

8. The UK government confirmed in November 2020 it will freeze pay in the wider public sector. RCN members work in many places, not just the NHS, and we do not support this divisive tactic – all of nursing deserves a fair pay rise.

9. A pay rise of 12.5% would begin to recognise the skill and professionalism of nursing staff, which has historically been undervalued. It would encourage the next generation to join nursing and keep experienced staff in post as a much-needed morale boost. It would start to fill the tens of thousands of nursing vacancies so patients get the care they deserve.  

10. Funding for health and social care is a political choice. A pay rise of 12.5% is affordable to government. It puts money in our members pockets - providing a much-needed boost to the economy and businesses where our members live and work. Read our submission to the Pay Review Body. 

Page last updated - 16/04/2021