Let's talk about pay

 Nicky Hughes 2 Sep 2020

Nicky Hughes, Associate Director of Nursing (Employment Relations) talks about the recently-launched RCN Fair Pay for Nursing campaign.

Fair Pay for Nursing

Our position is simple: we believe that nursing staff deserve fair pay and we are demanding a fully funded 12.5 % pay rise for staff across the UK.

The initial focus of the RCN's Fair Pay for Nursing campaign is for all staff on Agenda for Change contracts to have a 12.5% pay rise, whatever band they are and whatever increment they are on. But the campaign will also push for improved pay in the independent sector too

Although the COVID-19 crisis has shone a spotlight on the nursing profession and has raised public awareness of the job we do, we know that nurses have been working over their capacity for years and that the NHS has been run on good will. We need the government to step up now and recognise the importance of the nursing profession and how it has developed over time with registered nurses, nursing support workers and students all taking on increasingly complex roles. If we are to retain nurses and attract more people into the profession, this needs to be reflected in the pay.

It’s not just about nurses getting a few extra quid in their pay packets. It’s also about:

  • providing safe and effective patient care for all people of the UK by addressing the staffing crisis within nursing
  • recognising the skill, accountability and expertise of a safety critical profession
  • recognising that the salaries of nursing staff have not kept pace with increases in the cost of living.

You may wonder where the figure of 12.5% came from and the simple answer is: YOU! 42,000 members completed the RCN’s survey earlier this year and gave us a steer on the level of pay rise that would make them feel valued. In addition, our reps have been listening to members and our elected members have used that information in deciding about the campaign position. Moving forward, no other decisions will be made without asking our members what they want.

There is lots you can do to support the pay campaign:

  • Complete the newly-launched survey by RCN Wales: What's important to you?
  • Find out more about our pay campaign and what it seeks to do
  • Spread the word about it on social media using #FairPayForNursing, sharing your thoughts on why nursing staff deserve a fair pay rise
  • Become an RCN e-campaigner and receive emails with simple actions to influence the public and politicians on nursing pay
  • Speak to family, friends, patients and colleagues about why you believe nursing staff deserve an early and significant pay rise
  • Encourage your colleagues to join the RCN and increase the voice of the largest nursing professional trade union
  • Make sure your membership details are up to date so we can contact you about upcoming events, updates and campaign activity.

I would be interested to hear your views on the Fair Pay for Nursing campaign and how you are going to get involved. Please tweet me – @nichughes1 – or email CommunicationsWales@rcn.org.uk.  

We must work together to get the voice of nursing professionals heard whenever and wherever we can.

Nicky Hughes

Associate Director of Nursing (Employment Relations) RCN Wales

Nicky has 30 years experience of working in the NHS in the specialities of inpatient acute medicine and the community setting, where she managed frontline services such as District Nursing, Prison Nursing, and those caring for the homeless and asylum seekers. In addition she commissioned care from the nursing home sector.

Page last updated - 02/09/2020