The Royal College of Nursing is to commission an independent review into the “governance and process” that has resulted in confusion and anger among nurses over their expected pay rise.
The move was revealed this afternoon by the college with a further apology over the way it communicated the delivery of the pay deal to its members.
“It was agreed an immediate independent external review will look at the governance and process resulting in this situation”
On Wednesday, the chief executive and general secretary of the RCN issued a personal apology over concerns the NHS pay deal was not properly explained to nursing staff on Agenda for Change.
The unprecedented step by Janet Davies followed widespread anger and dismay after many nurses discovered they would be getting much less in their wage packets than expected.
All members were told they would get a 3% per pay rise this summer but it subsequently turned out this was not the case with only half getting the rise straight away.
The rest will receive an average increase of around 1.5% with more to come on their incremental date – which could be as many as 11 months down the line.
The developments this week sparked a petition from activists calling for an emergency general meeting, which Nursing Times understands is set to take place after it was signed by 1,000 members.
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Meanwhile, this afternoon, Ms Davies sent a second message to members confirming the delay for those receiving increments, in the wake of her initial apology on Wednesday.
She said: “In the two days since, we have looked again at every detail. By the end of March next year, everybody’s salary will have increased by a minimum of 3% compared to a year earlier.
“However, for those of you receiving increment payments you will not receive that money for the whole year – only from your increment date. Before that, only 1.5% of your total award will be backdated to the start of April,” she said.
She noted that the deal was “incredibly complex due to a reform of the pay structure being carried out at the same time”, making it difficult to give details of what it meant to everyone individually.
“I have personally gone through all of our messages and our understanding of it,” she said. “I can only apologise for how we interpreted it and how we suggested to you that a 3% rise would be backdated for everyone.
“Your elected council met this morning to discuss a way forward and it agreed that an immediate independent external review will look at the governance and process resulting in this situation,” she said.
She added: “The RCN values its members and we strive to give you the best service. I cannot stress enough how much we appreciate the work you do and we are sorry that you will feel let down.”