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Nurses urged to have their say as RCN opens ballot on England and Wales 3% pay deal

RCN, Unison, GMB and Unite all have open ballots that could pave the way to further action  

RCN, Unison, GMB and Unite all have open ballots that could pave the way to further action

Nurses in England and Wales are being urged to have their say on whether to accept a 3% pay rise in what could be the first step towards industrial action.

Online ballots open as unions gauge members’ opinions on further action

The RCN ballot on the government’s pay deal for 2021-22 is now under way and members on Agenda for Change (AfC) contracts who work in England and Wales have until 13 September to cast their votes.

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RCN, Unison, GMB and Unite all have open ballots that could pave the way to further action

Illustration of an RCN ballot box being filled with voting slips
Picture: iStock

Nurses in England and Wales are being urged to have their say on whether to accept a 3% pay rise in what could be the first step towards industrial action.

Online ballots open as unions gauge members’ opinions on further action

The RCN ballot on the government’s pay deal for 2021-22 is now under way and members on Agenda for Change (AfC) contracts who work in England and Wales have until 13 September to cast their votes.

The vote will be conducted online by email and will help determine the college’s next steps, including the possibility of further ballots on industrial action.

The RCN has been campaigning for a 12.5% pay increase for nurses across the UK since August 2020, arguing this will help prevent an exodus of nursing staff and ensure patient safety.

Don’t let government ignore the voice of your patients, warns RCN

Speaking on the first day of the ballot, RCN general secretary Pat Cullen urged members to vote and send a clear message to government.

‘I want every member to know this is your chance to speak up for patients. You know what the fallout from this pay award will be where you work, and I know you will not let the government ignore the voice of your patients,’ she said.

Other unions representing NHS staff are also consulting their members on the proposed 3% pay rise in England and Wales.

Unison’s ballot closes on 10 September for England and 17 September for Wales. GMB's ballot for England and Wales closes on 17 September.

Unite’s pay ballot for Wales will run from 16 August until 23 September while the England ballot will run from 27 August until 24 September.

What the RCN wants for nurses

The RCN is calling for all nurses working on Agenda for Change contracts to receive a 12.5% pay rise for 2021-22 backdated to April 2021.

The college argues that a pay rise of this level would begin to recognise the skill and professionalism of nurses as well as encouraging more people to join the profession and help keep experienced nurses in post.

In Scotland the RCN is in a trade dispute over an imposed 4% pay rise for 2021-22 backdated to December 2020.

No announcement regarding pay has been made in Northern Ireland.


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