RCN issues formal apology over NHS pay deal

Guidance provided for RCN reps last week confirms that the union was aware of the correct information but failed to highlight it to its members.

Ian Snug
25 July 2018
RCN Sign

The Royal College of Nursing has apologised to members over the recent NHS pay deal.

Janet Davies, Chief Executive and Registrar of the Royal College of Nursing, has today written to members to apologise after staff failed to receive the 3% increase that was promised.


During the consultation over NHS pay, unions told their members that they would recieve a minimum of a 3% uplift in July and this would be back-paid from April. However, it has come to light that both these statements are incorrect. Earlier this week NHS staff took to social media in mass to complain the pay deal was ‘mis-sold’.

Guidance provided for RCN reps last week confirms that the union was aware of the correct information but failed to highlight it to its members during the consultation. The document states; “Those members of staff currently at the bottom point will see an increase of over 3%. The initial increase for most other staff will typically be 1.5% until they reach their normal incremental pay date.” 

Adding; “You can reassure members that once they have reached their incremental pay date, their annual salary will have increased in 2018/19 by more than 3% – and in some cases significantly more than 3%.”

Backpay was never planned for July.

NHS employers has stated that it was always the intention for NHS staff to receive their backpay in August and claims the RCN have not raised any concerns over the pay deal.


Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers, said: “The position of NHS Employers has always been that staff will be assimilated and paid on the new pay structure in July, and backpay will be paid from August, subject to local payroll arrangements. I can only apologise for any confusion there has been.”

However, the Royal College of Nursing said on its website the back-payment was delayed as “Making the necessary payroll changes just as the school holidays start is proving challenging”. 

Mr Mortimer added, following todays apology, “I am disappointed by this communication and surprised as no concerns were raised with us. While I do not recognise the account Ms Davies presents, clearly if there are concerns we will work with the RCN and all the NHS’s trade unions to resolve them.”

‘We told all members they would recieved a 3% uplift’.

In the statement, Janet Davies said; “I wanted to write to you myself over the recent NHS pay deal. It has come to my attention in the last 24 hours that the deal was not as straightforward as we said and for that I offer you a sincere personal apology.


“I’m as dismayed and angry as you are and will fight the corner of members at every turn. In good faith, we told all members that they would receive a 3 per cent 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.”

Today, senior union members have called for a vote of no confidence in the RCN leadership.

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