RCN Nurses Pay – the Facts (1982)
THE CHOICE IS YOURS
Some thoughts to consider when reading COHSE/NUPE propaganda COHSE and NUPE do not believe that nurses' pay should be a 'special case'. The Rcn emphatically does. As a nurse, do you?
"The Rcn is doing nothing to help nurses get better pay. "
The increase of 1.1 per cent on the 6.4 per cent offer is totally inadequate, but had the Rcn's first ballot not demonstrated to a surprised Government the strength of feeling among Rcn members, it is unlikely that nurses would have been offered any more at all. Has industrial action yet resulted in any increased offer?
"The Rcn is being divisive in wanting more money for nurses than for other equally deserving health workers, and hasn't supported the TUC's campaign for better wages for all health service workers. "
The Rcn is under no illusion about the shamefully low levels of pay currently earned by many different groups of workers in the NHS, workers on whom the smooth running of the NHS depends no less than on doctors and nurses. But the Rcn exists to promote the interests of nurses, and believes that nurses are
special, as should the Nurses and Midwives Whitley Council. Isn't it about time that all the organisationson the Staff Side of the Nurses and Midwives Whitley Council woke up to this fact?
"The Rcn doesn't strike, but rides on the backs of other unions which are taking positive action”
This Government seems determined, as few administrations have been before, to show that industrial action, whether undertaken by civil servants, railwaymen or health service workers, does not succeed. Rightly or wrongly, this fact cannot be ignored. The problem of the present pay round will not disappear. Sooner or later negotiations on the 1982 pay claim will have to recontinue and the Rcn says 'the sooner the better'.
"The Rcn is not worried about this year's pay talks but is pinning its hopes on a new mechanism for the future."
Because the other organisations are not exclusively committed to promoting nurses' interests, they have delayed, and continue to delay, talks to find a permanent solution to the problem of nurses' pay. The police and the fire service have successfully negotiated pay formulas that safeguard their pay in relation to
annual pay movements generally. The Government has now committed itself to do the same for nurses by next April. Do you want to sacrifice this opportunity by allying yourself with organisations who have no special interest in nurses?
"The Rcn only represents senior staff. "
60,000 students would disagree and there are certainly not 135,000 nurse managers! The Rcn represents all trained nurses and nurses in training with equal enthusiasm. It is the one professional organisation and trade union for all nurses.
"Nurses are leaving the Rcn in droves. "
Not true. The Rcn is continuing to receive a steady stream of applications from nurses who recognise that a nursing organisation is the only one qualified to look after their interests.
Finally, the Rcn lets its members decide. Would COHSE or NUPE dare to ballot their nurse members on the present offer?