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UK government announces new NHS pay offer for nursing staff in England

Press Release 16/03/2023

Three months after the Royal College of Nursing’s (RCN) first ever day of strike action in England, the government in Westminster has made a new offer on NHS pay to bring industrial action to an end.

The offer consists of a one-off payment for the current financial year 2022/23 worth between £1,655 and £3,789 for Agenda for Change staff in England and a 5% consolidated pay increase for 2023/24.

In an additional commitment to the Royal College of Nursing, the government has agreed to consider a new pay spine exclusively for all nursing staff, as part of work to tackle challenges faced by nurses and nursing – with the intention that resulting changes can be delivered within the 2024-25 pay year.

The government has also committed for the first time to a national evidence-based policy framework on safe staffing, focusing on registered nurses, that will draw on legislation in the rest of the UK and internationally.

The RCN’s elected Council met this morning and decided that it will recommend that members vote to accept the offer in a forthcoming consultation. If members accept it, the dispute with government and the NHS over pay will formally end.

Negotiations with the RCN started three weeks ago and all NHS unions took part in the last ten days of talks. The pay offer will be paid only if members accept it.

RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive, Pat Cullen, said:

“The government was forced into these negotiations and to reopen the pay award as a result of the historic pressure from nursing staff. Members took the hardest of decisions to go on strike and I believe they have been vindicated today.

“After tough negotiations, there are a series of commitments here that our members can see will make a positive impact on the nursing profession, the NHS and the people who rely on it.

“Our members will have their say on it and I respect everybody’s perspective. Each should look closely at what it means for them.

“As well as the additional money now, we have made real progress with the government on safe staffing measures, a new pay structure for nursing, support for newly qualified staff and pensions too.

“It is not a panacea, but it is real tangible progress and the RCN’s member leaders are asking fellow nursing staff to support what our negotiations have secured.”


Notes to editors

Full details of the pay offer available here

Press Office Contacts

Tom Colclough, Head of Media
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Nick Spears, Senior Media Officer
020 7647 3696

Claire Nelson, Senior Media Officer
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020 7647 3459

Out of hours duty press officer
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