The RCN has warned that low morale in the nursing workforce could endanger patients, as the union launches its consultation on pay.
RCN members working for the NHS in England and Wales have a chance to say whether a 3% pay award is acceptable or unacceptable. The consultation opened on 12 August and will close at noon on 13 September. This is an opportunity to show how they feel about the pay award and inform the RCN’s next steps. Next steps might include further ballots that gauge members’ appetite to pursue some form of industrial action.
‘With the NHS facing massive waiting lists and recovery pressures, investing in the workforce is the only way to retain the experienced nursing staff health services cannot afford to lose with such a challenge ahead,’ said Pat Cullen, RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive.
‘I want every member to know this is your chance to speak up for patients. You know what the fallout from this pay award will be where you work, and I know you will not let the government ignore the voice of your patients.’
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The RCN is campaigning for a fully funded 12.5% pay increase for all nursing staff, which they say recognises the complex mix of skill, responsibility and experience demonstrated every day by members of the profession. In Scotland, members continue to be in a trade dispute with the Scottish government and NHS Scotland employers after they rejected an offer which gave them an average four per cent pay increase.
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‘We want to hear from as many eligible members as possible to let your view lead the RCN in our endeavour to achieve a fair deal for nursing in the NHS. Encourage your colleagues to have their say too,’ said Graham Revie, Chair of the RCN Trade Union Committee.
‘Get involved in our Summer of Action events, invite your friends and family members as well. We will not stop until nursing is respected, protected and, most of all, valued.’