THE HEAD of the Royal College of Nursing has apologised after nurses in England complained of being ‘misled’ over the new pay deal.
The union had said they would receive a 3% pay rise this month as part of a new three-year pay deal. But a number of nurses took to social media to say their pay had gone up by just pennies.
RCN general secretary Janet Davies apologised, saying the deal had been presented ‘in good faith’.
She added: ‘It has come to my attention in the last 24 hours that the three year pay deal for NHS staff in England, agreed earlier this year, was not as straightforward as we said. For that, I want to offer you a sincere personal apology.
‘I’m as dismayed and angry as you are and I will fight for the corner of members at every turn. In good faith, we told all members that they would receive a 3% uplift this summer. I now find that this is not the case for everyone. I can assure you that I am demanding answers for you.
‘In the meantime, I can only apologise for this unnecessary confusion and assure you that I am determined to resolve it. Your elected Council and Trade Union Committee will be meeting in the next few days and I will update you on next steps.’
In June, 13 unions agreed to a three-year pay deal for more than one million NHS workers in England. Only one union, the GMB, rejected the deal, and pointed out that it would means a massive pay cut for hundreds of thousands of NHS workers. Nurses had been told by the RCN they would get a 3% pay rise in their July pay packets, backdated from April.
Many expressed anger at the RCN and the government about the deal, with some nurses saying they felt they had been misled by their union. The RCN however concluded in a statement that it would not be reopening the deal.However, NHS Employers, which agreed the pay deal with the unions, said the agreement had never promised a 3% rise in the first year.
‘This miscommunication is very unfortunate and clearly the RCN will need to review all of its communications to understand the extent of its error. We hope that this issue between the RCN and its membership can be resolved quickly, and we would direct colleagues towards the information on our website, which makes clear the pay journeys for different staff over the next three years.’
RCN members are demanding that the deal be scrapped immediately.