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Close the Gap

RCN members across the UK are campaigning to get the fair pay they deserve

About Close the Gap

Years of below inflation pay awards have seen nursing salaries fall far behind the cost of living – 14% in total. Experienced staff have left the profession and those who stayed are overstretched and undervalued.

This summer, RCN members successfully campaigned to scrap the 1% cap on pay increases, but there is a long way to go to close the 14% gap created by successive real-terms pay cuts.

Now the cap is scrapped, we are calling on the governments of the UK to show they value nursing staff. We are demanding a pay award in line with RPI inflation plus £800, to begin to make up for lost earnings.

14% real-terms fall in nursing pay since 2010.
contact details

Are you up to date?

We need your correct contact details so that we can consult you on your next pay award when its announced in spring 2018.

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Nursing staff on shift

England and Wales members: email your MP

Tell your MP how stretched you are and that a pay increase for nursing staff should not be linked to productivity.

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Close the gaps

Northern Ireland members: campaign to close the gaps

RCN members in Northern Ireland campaigning to address the 2-3% gap between nurses’ pay in Northern Ireland and that in the rest of the UK. 

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Scotland members: meet your MSP

RCN members in Scotland can meet with their MSP to discuss the impact of pay restraint.

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What happens next?

In the Budget on 22 November, Chancellor Phillip Hammond said he'll support a pay rise for nursing staff in 2018/19, but only if there's agreement in talks with the RCN and other NHS unions. 

We have submitted our evidence to the independent NHS Pay Review Body – the body that makes recommendations to UK governments on NHS pay. We have made it clear that nursing staff need a pay rise in line with inflation plus an £800 flat rate increase - anything less is a pay cut, and that this must not be linked to improvements in productivity.

At the same time, RCN negotiators are working with other trade unions to achieve the best possible deal.

The decision on the next pay award will come in spring 2018. Until then, we'll continue to apply pressure on the governments across the UK to ensure that the pay award closes the gap on years of real-terms pay cuts.

In England and Wales, RCN members are asked to meet with their MPs to share their experience of pay restraint. Members can also email their MP to make clear that any pay increase for nursing staff should not be linked to productivity.

In Scotland, RCN members are asked to meet with their MSPs, and share their experiences of pay restraint.

In Northern Ireland, RCN members are campaigning to close the 2-3% gap between nursing pay there and rest of the UK.

Nurses talking

We have submitted our evidence to the NHS pay review body

We have submitted our evidence to the body responsible for deciding what pay increase NHS staff will receive next year.

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Close the Gap Twibbon

Share the campaign for fair pay on social media by adding this Twibbon to your social media profile.
Engage with your MP

Meet with your elected representative

Find all the information you need to arrange and prepare for a meeting with your elected representative and build the relationship.

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Members at 10 Downing Street

RCN members deliver pay petition to Downing Street

Nursing staff hand a petition of 67,000 names to Downing Street, opposing the UK Government’s policy on pay.

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Pay timeline

The campaign so far

Track the development of our campaign for fair pay for nursing staff, from Scrap the Cap to Close the Gap, using our timeline.

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The true cost of the pay gap

How the pay gap has affected RCN members and their families.

Share your story

How has the pay gap affected you and your family?