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We say NHS pay award is unacceptable – verdict of clear majority voting in RCN ballot

Union weighs options as it urges ministers to ‘do the right thing’ for staff on AfC contracts
RCN announces results of its consultative ballot on NHS pay award in England and Wales

College urges ministers to now ‘do the right thing’ for staff on Agenda for Change contracts

The RCN is urging ministers to look again at the latest NHS pay award after more than 90% of members voting in a ballot said the latest rise of 3% is unacceptable.

The college, which has been campaigning for a 12.5% pay increase, told politicians it was time to ‘do the right thing’ for those on Agenda for Change contracts in England and Wales.

Sizeable majority expressed disapproval at pay award

In England, 25.4% of eligible RCN members –

College urges ministers to now ‘do the right thing’ for staff on Agenda for Change contracts

RCN announces results of its consultative ballot on NHS pay award in England and Wales
Picture: iStock

The RCN is urging ministers to look again at the latest NHS pay award after more than 90% of members voting in a ballot said the latest rise of 3% is unacceptable.

The college, which has been campaigning for a 12.5% pay increase, told politicians it was time to ‘do the right thing’ for those on Agenda for Change contracts in England and Wales.

Sizeable majority expressed disapproval at pay award

In England, 25.4% of eligible RCN members – those on Agenda for Change contracts directly employed by the NHS – voted. Of those, 91.7% said the pay award was unacceptable. In Wales, that figure rose to 93.9%, on a 29.3% turnout.

The RCN’s trade union committee will consider these results and decide what to do next.

‘Unsafe staffing levels hamper patient care. Fair pay is one major way of keeping people and attracting the next generation’

Graham Revie, chair, RCN trade union committee

The college has previously said it would consider further votes on whether to take strike action and has a £35 million strike fund in place.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said: ‘Today, we are placing the matter back in the hands of politicians and asking what they are going to do next.

‘Ministers must avoid a further escalation of this situation. Faced with this result, they can signal they intend to listen and do the right thing.’

Threat to nurse recruitment and retention

The RCN claims nurses’ unhappiness about their pay, set against a backdrop of widespread staffing shortages, is undermining recruitment and retention.

The college’s trade union committee chair Graham Revie said: ‘Unsafe staffing levels hamper patient care. Fair pay is one major way of keeping people in work and attracting the next generation.’

Independent pay review body recommendation

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said NHS staff ‘are rightly receiving a 3% pay rise following the recommendation of an independent review’.

‘We are seeing record numbers of nurses working in the NHS and applications to study nursing and midwifery have risen by 34% this year alone,’ said the spokesperson.


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