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RCN submits demand for 12.5% rise to pay review body

College stresses link between fair pay and safe staffing, and says it makes economic sense
Picture shows digital image of a medic in scrubs with a background of coins and the figure 12.5% with an up arrow

College stresses link between fair pay and safe staffing, and says it makes economic sense

Nurses dealing with the twin pressures of COVID-19 and chronic staff shortages deserve a 12.5% pay rise, the RCN has told the body that advises the government on NHS pay.

Nurses experiences of working during the pandemic and the severe strain caused by staff shortages feature in the colleges official submission to the NHS Pay Review Body (RB).

Link between fair pay, recruitment, retention and safe staffing

The independent body is responsible for advising the governments of all four UK nations on pay for NHS staff and takes evidence from trade unions, employers and governments to inform its recommendations.

The

College stresses link between fair pay and safe staffing, and says it makes economic sense

Picture shows digital image of a medic in scrubs with a background of coins and the figure 12.5% with an up arrow
Picture: iStock

Nurses dealing with the twin pressures of COVID-19 and chronic staff shortages deserve a 12.5% pay rise, the RCN has told the body that advises the government on NHS pay.

Nurses’ experiences of working during the pandemic and the severe strain caused by staff shortages feature in the college’s official submission to the NHS Pay Review Body (RB).

Link between fair pay, recruitment, retention and safe staffing

The independent body is responsible for advising the governments of all four UK nations on pay for NHS staff and takes evidence from trade unions, employers and governments to inform its recommendations.

The RCN’s submission – which has yet to be made public – sets out why the college is calling for a fully funded pay rise of 12.5% for all staff on Agenda for Change (AfC) contracts.

The evidence submitted ‘makes the economic case for a pay rise while stressing the link between fair pay, recruitment, retention and safe staffing’, the RCN says.

It argues that ‘chronic staff shortages have impacted on the system’s ability to cope with the pandemic, as well as ongoing service demands’. The college estimates that there are 50,000 nurse vacancies across the UK.

The document also draws on a recent report by consultancy London Economics, which concluded a ‘long overdue’ pay increase for nurses would help boost recruitment and retention and benefit the wider economy.

The report said higher salaries for nurses would mean they would pay more tax, could pay off students loans sooner and would have more disposable income.

RCN leader urges members to be ‘vocal and visible’

RCN general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair urged members to keep on pushing for a pay rise.

‘Members of the RCN have been extensively involved in our pay campaigning in the past six months and I am urging even more of you to become vocal and visible in the next six months,’ she said. ‘It is time to pay you fairly – let's redouble all our efforts to make 2021 the year the tide turned.’

In December the government delayed a decision on a pay rise for nurses and other NHS staff on AfC contracts until at least May, even though the current three-year pay deal expires in March.

The delay was confirmed in a letter from health and social care secretary Matt Hancock to the RB that emphasised the need for pay recommendations to be affordable.

It said: ‘The affordability of pay recommendations will have to be considered within the context of the significant financial and economic pressures that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, both within the NHS and wider public finances.’

Earlier this month the RCN, Unison and the Royal College of Midwives wrote to prime minister Boris Johnson calling for an end to ‘needless delays’ in the pay process.


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