Reject pay deal say RCN members in leaked document

A leaked RCN branch document reveals genuine anger and discontent with the proposed pay deal and a motion to reject the offer outright.

The document projects anger towards the RCN for portraying the pay rise as a victory. It goes as far as calling the message “misleading” and “disingenuous”.

The document states;

“Nurses and other healthcare professionals on Agenda for Change have suffered under Conservative policies of austerity, with an unacceptable pay restraint for the past 8 years, which has seen nursing staff face a 14% pay cut in real terms (RCN 2017).

The deal, which on average is 6.5% over the three years, will mean a real terms pay cut for the most loyal, longest­serving NHS workers as the OBR forecasts that RPI inflation is set to increase by 9.6% over the next three years. There is also 1.1% unconsolidated rise in the second year, unconsolidated meaning it is not permanently counted in the pay band structure, but just given as a lump sum at the start of that year.

One example of many as to why this deal is smoke and mirrors: if you are currently a band 6 on pay scale point 24 your salary is £29626. In 3 years you will be earning £32,731. With new NHS Pay now, you will be earning £33,779 in three years. That’s an increase of £1,048 equating to a 3% pay rise, not 14.02%. Many of the figures are misleading and are being sold as a huge victory.

The figure of a 29% pay rise for some is also highly disingenuous as it counts incremental rises in with the pay offer and removal of band overlaps. Unions have long rejected the argument that increments are a pay rise. They are meant to reflect skills and experience developed through time in service. The increments will also no longer be automatic and annual, they will be years in between and be based on productivity.

Unsocial hours payments, along with sick pay for bands 1 to 3 and Ambulance workers will be cut, meaning that they will be paying part of their payrise themselves, an unacceptable red line we told would not be crossed.”

The document goes on to describe the offer as a “…pay cut with several disguised caveats.” It then closes by recommending the following action;

  • That this pay deal be rejected.
  • That the RCN should not capitulate to the bullying and intimidation, by the
    Conservatives, nor echo it when they say ‘if you don’t take this, it will revert back to 1%’.
  • That if the members reject the pay deal when the consultation ends June 5th that the
    RCN sticks to its word and ballots the members for industrial action.

This will come as a real blow to those responsible for negotiating the pay deal. The document suggests that they have had the wool pulled over their eyes by cunning means.

Read the full document here.