The Royal College of Nursing council decided this afternoon to accept plans put forward by NHS Employers to reduce terms and conditions for NHS staff across the country.
Under the proposals, the national Agenda for Change pay framework will be altered to end automatic incremental pay rises, scrap enhanced out of hours sick pay, and bring an end to band 5 nurses receiving two increment rises during their first year after qualification.
Senior staff on higher pay bands could also be removed from Agenda for Change entirely and paid an individual spot salary.
RCN council chair Professor Kath McCourt said the decision to support the plans reflected the views of RCN members.
She said: “Today, the RCN Council has decided to support the proposed adjustments to Agenda for Change.
“This is the result of feedback we have received from our members who have been having their say in branch meetings up and down the country as part of the RCN’s formal consultation. Council is determined to represent the views of RCN members and this is why we have taken today’s decision.”
She added: “While it is our position to support these changes, no action will be taken until the NHS staff side council meeting takes place next month. This is where a final decision will be made. We will now work with our colleagues in our sister unions on the next steps in this process.”
The union Unite has already rejected the proposals and said it will fight any attempt to reduce terms and conditions of staff.
Meanwhile, Unison is consulting its membership until the end of the month, after which it will make a decision.