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Negotiate NHS pay through summer, RCN leader urges next PM

We’ve launched our general election manifesto of 12 points to solve the nursing crisis, with a substantial pay rise for all nursing staff the top priority.


Acting RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Professor Nicola Ranger told nursing staff at RCN Congress that members cannot be expected to wait 6 months for this year’s NHS pay award.

As she launched the RCN’s 12-point election manifesto, she warned that whoever forms the next UK government must start pay negotiations immediately after the election to avoid further pay rise delays.

If politicians wait until parliament sits again in September, already struggling nursing staff will have no chance of a pay increase until November.

Nicola said: “Ministers must negotiate through the summer to get a deal done quickly. NHS workers deserve a fair award and it’s unfair to keep them guessing.

“Whoever the prime minister and health secretary will be can meet and negotiate.

“Long delays and disappointing awards would fail to move the debate on from the last two years.”

A substantial pay rise for all nursing staff, and automatic band 5 to 6 pay progression for NHS nurses is the first point of our election manifesto which tells every party and every candidate how to solve current issues within the UK’s health and care services.

The manifesto also includes a call to introduce safety-critical nurse-to-patient ratios in all care settings, changes to immigration laws to protect internationally educated staff, government-funded nursing degrees, and an end to care in corridors and other inappropriate locations.

The document echoes concerns repeatedly raised by our members. The manifesto highlights the scale of the nursing crisis, with thousands of nursing posts lying vacant across the UK, and 25,000 people leaving the profession last year alone.

We’re demanding the election on 4 July is a nursing election. Our manifesto provides the solutions to give health, care, and the nursing profession the fresh start it needs.

“This is the change our country could get behind. No party has yet come close to doing that,” said Nicola. “Politicians cannot keep offering platitudes.”