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RCN fees look set to increase


Annual membership fees for the Royal College of Nursing could increase by as much as £35 over the next five years, following a vote at the body’s annual general meeting this week.

Last year nurses defied RCN leadership by rejecting a small increase in subscription rates for 2013. The council had argued the increase was necessary to meet the growing demand for services from members due to increasing pressure on terms and conditions from employers.

But at this year’s annual general meeting members agreed to put the decision back in the hands of the RCN Council, which will now set membership fees up to 2018.

The council said it would take financial pressures on nurses into account when setting fees and “always consult with members through boards and branches before making a decision”.

It promised fees for 2014 would increase by no more than one per cent – the equivalent of 16 pence a month for nurse members.

After that the council pledged it would not set an increase higher than four per cent in any one year.

If the maximum increase is implemented every year this would see the annual membership fee for registered nurses increase from £194.88 to £230.26 by 2018 and from £97.44 to £115.13 for healthcare assistants.

When the council was responsible for setting subscription rates between 2007 and 2012 increases remained below inflation.

RCN general secretary Peter Carter said the college had managed to make efficiency savings over the past year “while continuing to support the growing demand for member services”.

He added: “However, this was not a sustainable or long-term plan, which is why it is such good news that members have voted to allow council to approve a small rise if necessary, to ensure we can make long-term financial plans and safeguard investment in member services.”

A decision on whether fees will go up next year will be made at the council’s meeting in November.


Readers' comments (20)

  • thats it then no central heating this winter for me!!!

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  • Anonymous | 18-Oct-2013 2:01 pm

    why would you choose the RCN over your heating? surely your health is more important and comes first. you cannot buy good health but you can rejoin the RCN at a later date if you wish.

    the increase is small although I see the fees are already huge. does it still cover indemnity insurance? I belonged to it only for that as I had no need for the other services and found most I tried to use useless. The online library data bases are useful and the forums on the rare occasions they send out their newsletters to subscribers which is rather hit and miss.

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  • michael stone

    My fuel bills seem to be increasing much more rapidly than £35 over 5 years.

    Just commenting.

    I'm not 18-Oct-2013 2:01 pm by the way.

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  • Why anyone wastes their time and money on the RCN is beyond me. Not only are they rubber-stamping some seriously deleterious government proposals - which will have serious repercussions not only for their paid-up members, but everyone in the NHS as a whole - but those misfortunate enough to require staff-side representation will also quickly realise that the RCN is pretty useless in that regard too. Cancel your subs!

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  • What does the RCN actually do all day?

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  • PDave Angel

    I'd love to know the answer to that myself. It's certainly not a union as it is poor at representing its members interests both nationally and at a local level and what kind of union rules-out its members right to withdraw their labour? No wonder nurses are getting a raw deal with AfC negotiations etc. the government says jump, the RCN ask how high. Do what I did, cancel your subs!

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  • Why don't we have a National Cancel Your Subs day?

    The RCN won't know what's hit it. It will need a nurse...

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  • Why?

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  • Why don't we have a National Cancel Your Subs day?

    The RCN won't know what's hit it. It will need a nurse...

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  • For goodness sake! The RCN are not a union, they are a Royal College and you do not have to be a member! You only have to see how much their pay their area reps to see what you are paying for. And they only implement, nod and cosy up to the government. Time to look at what, exactly, they do for you personally?

    I cant believe nurses are still paying £194.88 per year for a diary and very little else. Even the contingency indemnity insurance is not as good as a union.

    And - nurses take note - the RCN decide whether they will represent you or not, depending on what the problem is. They DO NOT believe in a mandatory right of representation but leave you to the wolves; they do not believe in innocent until proved guilty. Exactly WHAT are you paying your subs for again??

    Join a REAL union who will represent you and fight your corner, whether you are right or wrong, will not be afraid to face the bullies or management and help protect YOU.

    I pay 11.70 per month to the GMB, which is £140.40 per year. If you are a student it is pennies only, if not free. If you are part time it is half subs. The contingency indemnity insurance is there when your employer lets you down or a colleague hangs you out to dry.

    They don't have their own position to worry about as they are a union, not a professional body. They don't care what government is in, they are there to represent you.

    They have preferential insurance packages such as critical illness cover, reduced holidays, etc etc and other benefits that most unions have. They are one of the "big 5" and have clout to try and change things in the NHS for the better.

    As they are not posh, privately educated tory boys they also have a vested interest in saving the NHS.

    I no that Unison in some areas are well represented. They also have a similar range of benefits including contingency indemnity insurance.

    Oh, and you also get a diary.

    So again,what, exactly, are you paying your subs to RCN for??

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