Nurses Vote on New Pay and Conditions - Agenda for Change
Nurses are currently voting on a new national pay and grading system, the outcome of the government’s four-year consultation process ‘Agenda for Change’. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) opened balloting last week and has urged its 355,000 members to accept the proposals.
Under the new plans, rather than pay increasing in proportion to experience, it will be linked to responsibilities and duties performed. The starting rate for a newly qualified nurse will also increase by six per cent to £17,000. The government hopes that the modernised pay and conditions will lead to more patients being treated to a higher standard, and in a quicker time frame.
RCN council chair, Jill Jarvis, commented recently: ‘We have been negotiating with the Government on Agenda for Change for nearly four years and Council has decided to recommend the package to our members. They now have the opportunity to decide for themselves. The package is very complex and will require an enormous effort on the part of employers, managers and staff representatives to explain the detail and enable our members to make an informed decision.’