A group of nurses at Birmingham Children’s Hospital have won a long-running battle with their trust over its failure to award them mandatory pay rises.
The 26 nurses were appointed as newly-qualified nurses at what is now Birmingham Children’s Hospital Foundation Trust between October 2004 and October 2006.
Under the Agenda for Change agreement, they should have been moved up one point on the pay scale after six months in post and another point after 12 months – a process known as accelerated progression. However they only received their first increment after 12 months.
This was because the trust only started to give two increment payments to newly qualifieds in October 2006, two years after Agenda for Change was introduced. As a result, the pay of those who joined the trust after October 2006 leapfrogged those who had joined the trust before that and were more experienced.
Following a 15 month challenge from the RCN – which argued the situation was unfair – trust has backed down and agreed to compensate the group. The longest serving of the nurses is estimated to be owed £1,200 in back pay.
The trust’s RCN lead steward Steve Hoare said: “This is a satisfying and hard-won result.”
However, as Nursing Times revealed in May, there is mounting evidence that other trusts across England are still failing to apply accelerated progression. Newly qualified nurses from as many as five trusts have told Nursing Times that they did not receive two mandatory pay rises.
The RCN council raised concerns about the issue at a meeting in February and a motion passed at Unison’s health conference in April has called on all NHS organisations to honour such payments.