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We’re prepared to strike: NHS nurses’ walk-out message to union in midst of pay dispute

Ballot of RCN members in Scotland suggests majority willing to strike over pay rise
Nurses in Scotland's NHS vote to express willingness to strike over pay

Ballot of RCN members in Scotland shows majority willing to go on strike over disputed pay award

A clear majority of nurses in a union ballot said they are prepared to strike over their 4% pay rise.

RCN Scotland held a vote of its NHS members to gauge whether there is appetite for industrial action. Some 60% expressed willingness to go on strike, and 90% said they would be prepared to take industrial action short of a strike.

RCN trade union committee chair Graham Revie said the ballot shows ‘years of being undervalued’

Ballot of RCN members in Scotland shows majority willing to go on strike over disputed pay award

Nurses in Scotland's NHS vote to express willingness to strike over pay
Picture: iStock

A clear majority of nurses in a union ballot said they are prepared to strike over their 4% pay rise.

RCN Scotland held a vote of its NHS members to gauge whether there is appetite for industrial action. Some 60% expressed willingness to go on strike, and 90% said they would be prepared to take industrial action short of a strike.

RCN trade union committee chair Graham Revie said the ballot shows ‘years of being undervalued’ have taken their toll on staff.

‘The link between low pay, staff shortages and patient safety is clear. We will now be considering our next steps in our campaigns to achieve staffing for safe and effective care and fair pay for nursing,’ he said.

‘The response from members to our indicative ballot demonstrates how difficult things are in the NHS. The Scottish Government must act now to protect patient safety and ensure we can retain and recruit the nursing workforce Scotland needs.’

Further ballot would be needed to authorise a strike

The ballot, which had an almost 30% turnout, does not authorise industrial action but will be used to inform RCN Scotland’s strategy in its formal dispute with the Scottish government and NHS employers. A statutory industrial action ballot would be required before any such action could take place. 

RCN Scotland instigated a formal trade dispute with the Holyrood government in June after its NHS members overwhelmingly rejected the 4% pay award.

Lower pay offers in the rest of the UK

In England and Wales, a 3% pay offer was rejected by RCN members and indicative ballots are under way.

Nurses in Northern Ireland are to receive the 3% pay rise in November which will be backdated to April.

The Scottish Government was asked to comment.


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