It is the first time any of the organisations involved in the talks, which began in autumn, have stated in public why little progress appears to have been made. Speaking at a council meeting last week, RCN general secretary Peter Carter said the union had no interest in the deal as it stands. ‘If the government is stuck on 2% a year for the next three years, there is nothing in that to make us feel that would be a good deal,’ he said.
The RCN will also resist efforts to give nurses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland separate pay rises. Gareth Phillips, Wales council member, told NT: ‘It undermined our case last year.’
The RCN is now awaiting the NHS Pay Review Body’s report, expected to advise on nurse pay in mid-March.