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Fair pay for nursing: union confirms new date for strike ballot

A postal vote, delayed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, will now open on 6 October, with the RCN urging nurses to vote for industrial action

A postal vote, delayed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, will now open on 6 October, with the RCN urging nurses to vote for industrial action

The RCN has confirmed the new date for its postal ballot on strike action over pay.

The union had been due to open voting to its members from 15 September, but the decision was postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II who was royal patron of the college for 65 years.

Member urged to check the union has correct details for them

Last night, the RCN emailed its members to confirm the ballot would open on 6 October and once again urged people to check their contact details were correct.

A postal vote, delayed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, will now open on 6 October, with the RCN urging nurses to vote for industrial action

RCN confirms rescheduled date of 6 October for nurses’ strike ballot
Picture: iStock

The RCN has confirmed the new date for its postal ballot on strike action over pay.

The union had been due to open voting to its members from 15 September, but the decision was postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II who was royal patron of the college for 65 years.

Member urged to check the union has correct details for them

Last night, the RCN emailed its members to confirm the ballot would open on 6 October and once again urged people to check their contact details were correct.

A spokesperson said: ‘All eligible members have received an email this evening, on the date the original industrial action strike ballot was due to open, to inform them that ballot papers will now be posted to them on Thursday 6 October by Civica Election Services.

‘It’s important you check that we have your up-to-date home address, employer details and job title so that every eligible member receives their postal ballot.’

If strike action is voted for, it will be an RCN first

The ballot, which is open from 6 October until 12 noon on 2 November, is over the government’s pay increase offer of £1,400 – or 4% – in England and Wales and 5% in Scotland. Nurses in Northern Ireland are yet to be offered a pay increase but will still join the ballot.

If nurses support strike action, it will be the first ever strike by RCN members in England, Wales and Scotland. RCN members in Northern Ireland went on strike for the first time in the union’s history in 2019.

The RCN are calling for a pay increase 5% above inflation, and members will be asked whether they are willing to take industrial action, including withdrawing their labour.

Nurses are eligible to vote if they work for an NHS employer on an Agenda for Change contract in England, Scotland or Wales, or if they work for Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland.

General secretary has urged members to vote in favour of the strike

The RCN has suspended campaigning until after the Queen’s funeral on 19 September, but general secretary Pat Cullen previously urged members to vote for historic strike action.

‘Nursing staff are burnt out and simply not valued by their employers and government,’ she said, earlier this month.

‘Rather than leave a fantastic profession, I’m telling members the time has come to vote for strike action this year – it is the best way to get politicians to listen and show what we mean when we say, “enough is enough”.’


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