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NHS pay: industrial action one step closer as union enters dispute process

Nurses angry at ministers’ imposition of ‘insulting’ 3% pay rise in Wales, claims RCN

Nurses angry and frustrated at ministers’ imposition of ‘insulting’ 3% pay rise in Wales, said RCN

Nurses in Wales are moving a step closer to industrial action after the RCN lodged a formal trade dispute over NHS pay.

The college said it acted in response to the Welsh government’s decision to impose a 3% award on staff on Agenda for Change terms for 2021-22 ‘without further discussions’.

Ballot would gauge support for possible industrial action

If the government does not open pay negotiations, RCN Wales will start proceedings for a ballot on whether members are prepared to take industrial action. College members in England’s NHS will shortly be invited to vote in a similar ballot.

Nurses angry and frustrated at ministers’ imposition of ‘insulting’ 3% pay rise in Wales, said RCN

Picture: iStock

Nurses in Wales are moving a step closer to industrial action after the RCN lodged a formal trade dispute over NHS pay.

The college said it acted in response to the Welsh government’s decision to impose a 3% award on staff on Agenda for Change terms for 2021-22 ‘without further discussions’.

Ballot would gauge support for possible industrial action

If the government does not open pay negotiations, RCN Wales will start proceedings for a ballot on whether members are prepared to take industrial action. College members in England’s NHS will shortly be invited to vote in a similar ballot.

The RCN, which has been campaigning for a 12.5% pay rise in the NHS, branded the 3% increase an insult that does not reflect inflation and living costs.

RCN Wales board chair Richard Jones said: ‘The anger and frustration of our members is clear. The Welsh government must strive to meet this very reasonable ask – refusing to negotiate is not in anyone’s interest.’

Independent pay review body recommendation

The Welsh government said the award was based on recommendations by the independent NHS Pay Review Body.

‘We have had a number of constructive meetings to see how we are able to enhance the pay award for NHS Wales,’ a government spokesperson said.

‘While it is disappointing the RCN felt unable to participate in these discussions, we remain committed to offering a package within the funding available.’

The government added it had awarded NHS staff a one-off payment of £735 earlier this year.

NHS pay elsewhere in the UK

  • Scotland RCN members are currently voting in an indicative ballot on their willingness to take industrial action on pay. The poll closes on 8 November
  • England RCN members will soon be asked to vote in a similar indicative ballot on industrial action over pay
  • Northern Ireland No formal announcement has yet been made


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