latest health care news

26.07.18

‘Angry and dismayed’ RCN boss apologises for misleading Agenda for Change pay deal

The head of a major medical union has apologised after nurses in England claimed they were misled over a new pay deal.

Janet Davies, general secretary and CEO at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), apologised after the union claimed that all nurses would receive a 3% pay increase.

Over a million NHS staff members were set to receive an increase of 3% in a new deal after votes were passed in favour by 13 unions, with only the GMB opposing the proposals.

Yet nurses had been incorrectly told by the RCN that they would receive the minimum 3% cash boost in their July wages— backdated from April— but many staff claimed they had not received the increase they had been promised.

Writing to union members, Davies said: “I’m as dismayed and angry as you are and will fight the corner of members at every turn. In good faith, we told all members that they would receive a 3% uplift this summer.

“I now find that this is not the case for everyone. I can assure you that I am demanding answers for you. In the meantime, I can only apologise for this unnecessary confusion and assure you that I am determined to resolve it.”

RCN guidelines on the pay deal do outline the fact that not all staff members will receive the pay rise. It said: “Members of staff currently at the bottom point will see an increase of over 3%. The initial increase for most other staff will typically be 1.5% until they reach their normal incremental pay date.”

It added: “You can reassure members that once they have reached their incremental pay date, their annual salary will have increased in 2018-19 by more than 3% – and in some cases significantly more than 3%.”

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said that the framework agreement made by the NHS Staff Council and RCN never made the 3% claim.

“The letter states that the RCN has in error told members in one of its documents that they would all receive a 3% uplift this summer,” he added. “The framework agreement, which is the document agreed by the NHS Staff Council that the RCN consulted its members on, does not make this claim.

“This miscommunication is very unfortunate and clearly the RCN will need to review all of its communications to understand the extent of its error.

“We hope that this issue between the RCN and its membership can be resolved quickly, and we would direct colleagues towards the information on our website which makes clear the pay journeys for different staff over the next three years.”

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