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RCN set to ‘put a case’ to government over GPN pay

RCN set to ‘put a case’ to government over GPN pay

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is set to survey general practice nurses (GPNs) who do not receive a full 6% pay uplift about how their employers handled the situation.

Findings will be used to ‘put a case’ to the government over the experience of GPNs in relation to pay, RCN professional lead for primary care Heather Randle told Nursing in Practice.

In an interview this week, Ms Randle said the RCN was working to ‘empower’ GPNs with ‘knowledge’ around how the pay process worked within general practice and about what to ask their employers concerning the uplift.

In recent weeks the RCN has issued several warnings about the fact that not all GPNs would receive the full 6% pay increase the government had promised, because of the complex funding formula used to distribute the uplift.

In October it was confirmed that the global sum had been increased to help fund the rise and would be distributed to practices by November.

However, because the global sum allocates funding per patient, based on various factors including demographics, it means some practices will not receive enough additional funding to cover an entire 6% rise for salaried staff, while others could get more than they need.

According to Ms Randle, GPNs should have received the rise last month and the backdated pay to April this month.

Though she suggested some practices had not decided what to do with the money yet, while others were unlikely to be able to afford it.

Due to the complexities of the situation, Ms Randle said the RCN was working to inform GPNs about ‘what the issues are, so they can then go and have a decent conversation with their employer’.

‘Then, if their employer isn’t showing them the numbers, and the reason why they can’t give them the 6%, we are developing next steps,’ she told Nursing in Practice.

This included helping GPNs with ‘who to write to [and] how to engage to be able to fight that’, she added.

By the end of November, the RCN will launch a survey for GPNs who have not received the full 6% uplift.

It will be a ‘brief’ questionnaire, running until mid-January, asking GPNs what uplift they did receive; if they know why they did not get the full 6%; and if their employers were ‘transparent’ about the situation.

Ms Randle said the survey findings would be used to ‘put a case to government around what is going on’ with GPN pay.

‘We’ll have more information then and we can turn around and say to the government in “most of our practices didn’t get that 6% pay rise and this is why”,’ she added.

The RCN is also set to hold two explainer webinars at the end of the month for GPN members.

Ms Randle hoped that with GPNs seeing the disparities in their pay across the sector, it would help them ‘wise up to not putting up with poor terms and conditions, because we are a sought-after profession’.

Last month, the RCN teamed up with the British Medical Association and pledged to ensure ‘fully funded fair terms’ for GPNs.

And in a letter to the government, also last month, the RCN said additional funding must be given if nurses working in general practice are left without the pay rise they were promised.

GPNs recently told Nursing in Practice it was ‘inherently unfair’ and ‘disappointing’ that some risk missing out on a full 6% pay rise.

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