Ballot: nurses will vote on improved offer for flexible working
RCN members in Wales are being asked to vote on an offer regarding non-pay elements, including improved flexible working, after agreeing to pause strike action
Nurses in Wales are set to be balloted on new offers regarding flexible working and overtime payments after summer strikes were called off.
New offer includes improvements to flexible working and other non-pay elements
Following talks between the RCN and the Welsh Government a new offer is on the table including improvements to flexible working arrangements, overtime payments, proposals of a 36-hour working week and advanced rostering. Pay was excluded from the talks.
The government also committed to taking steps to limit the care patients receive in inappropriate settings.
RCN Wales director Helen Whyley said: ‘These improvements could have a significant impact on the working lives of our members and their ability to deliver high-quality patient care while maintaining their own well-being.
‘As always, our members will decide whether these terms go far enough to end our current dispute with the Welsh Government and NHS organisations. These latest improvements, if accepted, will pave the way for full pay restoration in the years to come and our continued work with the Welsh Government to secure the best for members.’
Fresh negotiations, excluding pay talks, came after July strikes were paused
The Welsh Government agreed to fresh talks with the RCN on non-pay elements of the 2023-24 award after nurses in the country staged walk outs on 6 and 7 June.
RCN members rejected the ‘last and final’ pay offer of 5% for 2023-24, despite the offer being enforced after being accepted by other unions under the NHS Wales Partnership Forum in May.
Another round of strikes was planned for 12 and 13 July but these were paused after the government agreed to fresh talks. A statutory ballot to extend the college’s strike mandate, due to open on 3 July, was also paused.
Further strike action and a further statutory ballot on industrial action remain paused while the ballot on non-pay elements of the deal take place.
The Society of Radiographers (SoR) also remain in dispute with the government over the pay deal.
Ballot will run to the end of August
Wales health and social services minister Eluned Morgan said: ‘I am pleased that, in partnership, we have been able to further develop and clarify some of the non-pay elements of the award which are of most concern to the professions represented by the two unions.
‘The Welsh Government remains fully committed to working in tripartite social partnership, through our Welsh Partnership Forum, to deliver better working lives for NHS staff and better public services for our people.’
The ballot will run from 31 July to 31 August. The RCN is not making a recommendation to members on how to vote.
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