Unions were unable to get a better pay deal due to nurses reluctance to take industrial action, says the RCN Lead Negotiator.
The Royal College of Nursing’s Chief Negotiator has said unions felt they were unable to pressure the government into a bigger pay rise as nurses are reluctant to take industrial action – despite an RCN poll showing overwhelming support.
The proposed pay deal will see staff move through pay-points quicker and an increase to basic pay but has been subject to heavy criticism from members.
Earlier, in the day it had been suggested that unions could have pushed a ‘weak government divided over Brexit’ harder to obtain a better deal.
We didn’t give in to Government demands.
Ms Irwin, RCN associate director of employment relations, revealed the government demands, including performance related pay and the removal of two days annual leave, during RCN Congress.
Previously she told the NursingTimes she thinks the deal “is the best possible deal we could negotiate given the current climate“ and Ms Irwin said it was now an RCN priority to ensure pay matched their members’ job descriptions.
RCN members are currently being balloted on the proposed changes to the agenda for change pay system.
The pay negotiations involved fourteen healthcare unions and commenced in November 2017.
During a speech to Congress yesterday, Janet Davies, called for the proposed NHS pay deal to be extended to social care staff.