The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has submitted evidence to the NHS pay review body (PRB) reinforcing its demand for a fully-funded 12.5% pay increase for nursing staff.
The formal submission of evidence by the RCN outlines its pay claim and the reasons why nursing staff are calling for such significant investment, stressing the link between fair play, recruitment, retention and safe staffing.
It argues that chronic staff shortages have further impacted on the system’s ability to cope with increased pressures during the pandemic, as well as ongoing service demands.
Drawing on expert work carried out by economists, the RCN evidence demonstrates the overall affordability and broad benefits of the RCN’s 12.5% claim, asking the PRB to make that case.
The PRB is responsible for advising the Government on pay for NHS staff and takes advice from trade unions, employers and government policy to inform its recommendations.
Devolved governments covering the health service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have asked the PRB to recommend what pay increase NHS staff in those countries should receive for 2021-22. However, that report is now not expected until May, meaning NHS staff would be unlikely to see the benefits of any pay rise until the summer - though any increase would be backdated to April 2021.
Alongside the RCN evidence submitted, work was also carried out in association with other NHS unions, with further submission of joint analysis and political arguments for significant investment into the NHS workforce.
Public polling carried out for the RCN and other NHS unions this month show public support for the unions’ demand that this timeline is quickened for a sooner pay increase.
In a message to members, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “Members of the RCN have been extensively involved in our pay campaigning in the last six months and today I am urging even more of you to become vocal and visible in the next six months.
“We have a huge challenge ahead of us in leaving the government with no option but to give such a significant pay rise to nursing. Your work over many years, not just during the pandemic, shows why you deserve it.
“It is time to pay you fairly – let's redouble all our efforts to make 2021 the year the tide turned.”