RCN pay vote: Royal College of Nursing members set to vote on new NHS pay offer to avoid further strikes
and live on Freeview channel 276
Over 280,000 members of the Royal College of Nursing in England will today begin voting on a new government pay offer. The union has opened up the opportunity for its members to have its say on the ongoing dispute.
The offer made by the UK government last week consists of a one-off payment for the current financial year 2022/23 worth between £1,655 and £3,789 and a 5% consolidated (permanent) pay increase for 2023/24 for all those at point 2 of Band 2 and above. The additional offer for 2022/23 is on top of the already implemented, consolidated pay uplift of at least £1,400, awarded to members last year.
The offer, according to the RCN, also includes a series of commitments and plans to improve pay, terms and conditions over time. These include a specific commitment to the RCN 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 window to have a say on the pay offer opens at 9am today (Tuesday March 28). It will remain open until 9am on Friday April 14.
Members of the RCN have taken part in various days of strike action in recent months. The most recent of these was 48 hours of action at the start of March.
Speaking to members at a Q&A session earlier this month relating to the offer, RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen said: “To get the talks with the UK government was a breakthrough. After months of ministers touring TV studios behind me saying there was no money, and they could not reopen the current pay deal, they did. It was you, our members, who got them to.
“Over three weeks we certainly asked for much more than what has been offered. The government increased its pay offer each time. But there comes a point in negotiations where you know the other side won’t give any more. This is not the first offer either, it’s the government’s final offer.
“The RCN said no to a dozen earlier versions of this to get the government higher. I am your General Secretary and I will always do what is best for nursing but now I want to hear from you.”