Events will be held across the UK as the RCN prepares to consult members on next steps, after dissatisfaction with the Government’s offer of a 3% pay rise.
The Government announced the NHS pay award for England last week after months of delays. However, with inflation, the 3% award is a real-terms pay cut and leaves experienced nursing staff £200 a year worse off, the RCN says.
Additionally, the government has since admitted that the money would be found from existing budgets, further upsetting the nursing profession as this funding will already be committed for patient care.
Read more: NHS pay deal 'a bitter blow' to nurses
‘We know this award will not be enough to prevent an exodus of exhausted NHS nursing staff and ministers must now be honest about the impact this would have on patient care,’ said RCN General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen.
‘The government is failing to give the NHS the money it truly needs. This current game of smoke and mirrors is dangerous for patients and nursing staff who care for them. If ministers ignore the voice of nursing, they ignore the voice of patients – and that is something we, as nurses, will never allow.’
Events include a demo in Hove, a candlelit vigil in Norfolk, a virtual rally and a campaign van travelling through Wales. The summer of action will culminate with a protest in Liverpool at the RCN’s annual national Congress in September. The ‘summer of action’ is launched as a new poll shows a majority (51%) of the public think the 3% pay rise is too little and 62% say there are too few nurses to provide safe care.
Read more: Pat Cullen appointed RCN Chief Executive‘Our campaign continues and I need you – all of you – to get involved. This is your opportunity to stand up for your profession and for patients by using your voice this summer,’ said Graham Revie, Chair of the RCN Trade Union Committee.
‘Come along to these events and encourage your colleagues, friends and families to join us, because we need them to campaign too. We will not