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RCN to commission review into how ‘pay confusion’ occurred


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”

Janet Davies

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.

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.”


Readers' comments (6)

  • ‘3% by end of March next year’ not happening for me. There is no wage rise in my pay packet and my increment date stays at 1st May next year. Not impressed.

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  • Sadly, this country is heading towards the disaster. Brexit farce, crime on the rise, less police, much less nurses and even candidates for nursing. Janet's legacy is just an utter crap, so will be the Tory government. From one of the best performing country on the world, next year same time we will be stealing farmers crops to survive.

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  • Yes an embarrassing disaster on behalf of our union. I feel ashamed to be a nurse. Are we really a profession, hard to see that by the way we are represented. Look at the teaching profession, have a much stronger union presence and lo and behold are offered 3.5% rise compared with our generous 3% which we are not even getting. And that is with all the so-called input from our unions and all the attendant publicity.

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  • We are sorry you feel let down.

    That's not an apology, more of a criticism really. And where are the other unions in this? They all encouraged members to agree to this 'pay rise' too, apart from the GMB. Also, why didn't the nursing media spot this? I speak as a former journalist, who used to have to sift through reams of paperwork to spot the impact it would have.

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  • You're sorry we 'feel' let down? We ARE and have been let down, quite dramatically. Those of us who could see the pitfalls of this so called 'deal' were shouted down by the RCN staff on their social media page, even though we were pointing out glaringly obvious errors and catches in what was being pushed as the best deal in years. It's clearly not as Scottish Nurses have been offered 9% over 3 years, no catches, and teachers 3.5%. So am I right in assuming that as was stated, the TU's will be immediately going back to the table with the Government to get us something on equal terms? I highly doubt it, and doubt that there will be anything other than a meek apology in the offing. After all...according to Josie Irwin, those of us who pointed out the anomalies are just deluded and unrealistic!!

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  • So there is to be another inquiry? our fees are paying for this one assumes, what will the end result be, yes we misled our members. What will the RCN do about this farcical situation?

    I am a nurse, no high flyer but have learned a lot over the past 17 years nursing, still learning and good at what I do.

    My point is, I have been on the top pay band 5 for many years, (Along with many other nurses), we have no increment pay points, therefore no pay increase at all. We actually have in our last pay packet an increase in tax and national insurance. When queried I was informed I had gone up a level on the agenda for change pay scale, But only to be told there were two pay points the same, I was being placed on the lower one meaning there will be no pay rise for two years. However, I did get a small increase that was taken back as mentioned previously by increased tax and national insurance.
    This is legalised mugging by the government and the RCN cajoled with them.
    As you can probably tell not a very happy nurse as regards with pay!!!

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