Wasting no time when it comes to pay

By Alice Sorby, Employment Relations Advisor on 20 May 2021 Pay Maternity Safety

It's been a whole month since I wrote my last blog on pay. In one month, we've seen Scotland members accept a headline offer of four per cent. We've seen the majority of the public call out the measly one per cent offer for England. We've seen celebrities including singer Dua Lipa support the call for a fair pay rise, during this year's Brit Awards. We've also seen the Deliver a Decent Deal pay campaign collateral everywhere – including on hand sanitiser bottles – a real sign of the times! But what else is going on? What comes next?

When our members in Scotland accepted the headline offer of four per cent last week, we wrote to the Scottish Government with the outcome of the consultation. They have since confirmed the rise will be implemented with immediate effect. This news will be welcome to our members in Scotland, but it also sets a precedent for other countries to follow. It shows us that a significant and early pay rise is possible.

Scotland's outcome shows that pay restraint is a political choice, not an economic necessity. The Westminster Government should sit up and take note. RCM members in the rest of the UK deserve and now expect a decent deal too.  

With Scotland done, we're keeping our foot on the accelerator and wasting no time when it comes to pay for the rest of the UK. Along with all our campaign work, Government evidence for a one per cent pay deal has been submitted to the Pay Review Body (PRB), and now we wait for its recommendation, expected for June or July.

Working in maternity, we aren't usually ones for waiting, we like to take affirmative action and prepare. Before the PRB evidence due date, we need to tell our politicians exactly what we expect to see from them, that we're expecting a fair and decent pay deal. You can do this by sending a letter to your MP, MS or MLA, telling them about the impact the pay restraint has had on you, your colleagues and even your family. We have an easy guide and template to use that will help get your message out there. You can also spread the word in your workplace and speak to your branch about getting some Deliver a Decent Deal campaign materials.

While we wait to hear from the Government there is still lots of work to do to keep NHS pay on the agenda to make sure politicians don't forget that we are demanding a decent deal. To keep up with all the information as soon as it comes through, we are asking members to update their details. Please log into the RCM website and change your preferences in your RCM Portal.

Don't forget the outcome from the PRB process impacts RCM members in Wales and Northern Ireland too. Any funding made available for NHS pay in England means equivalent money for the rest of the UK through the Barnett Formula.

We are fighting for you every step of the way, using every platform, every opportunity to make our case. We also continue to work with all the Agenda for Change NHS trade unions as part of the #WithNHSStaff campaign to encourage the public to get involved by downloading posters to display support and use the hashtag #WithNHSStaff.     

But we can’t do this without you. Get involved in the ongoing Deliver a Decent Deal pay campaign, write to your elected politicians, whether at Westminster, Stormont or Cardiff Bay, invite them to speak at your RCM branch, tell them how it feels to be told that you’re only worth one per cent. Whatever action you decide to take, let us know through your regional or national officer and use the hashtag #DeliveraDecentDeal on social media.