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RCN says unsocial hours payments must be retained

The Royal College of Nursing says official talks with the Government have not actually started.

Image: © scalesy

The Royal College of Nursing has said that discussions around Agenda for Change ‘modernisation’ have not yet begun.

Following Wednesday announcement that the Government plans to ‘modernise’ the agenda for change pay system, Josie Irwin – the Royal College of Nursing’s chief negotiator, has revealed that official talks with the Government over modernisation of the agenda for change has not actually started and the RCN Council would have to agree on any move to start negotiations.

Irwin goes on to explain that the reforms could include reducing incremental points, making it quicker to get to the top of each band and getting rid of overlaps between pay bands, so that promotion is rewarded and means something.

But, the RCN says it is clear that unsocial hours payments – made to reflect the demands placed on nursing staff, which disrupt their lives and those of their families – must be retained as they ensure the right care is available at the right time to help keep patients safe.

The RCN will submit evidence to the independent pay review body alongside Jeremy Hunt and the Department of Health. The NHS Pay Review Body will report in the spring and make its recommendation to the Government and subsequently, Jeremy Hunt will then announce the pay award for the year ahead.