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Nurse pay award: staff in England to vote on willingness for industrial action

Ballot of RCN members will ask what steps they would take – including a strike

Ballot of RCN members will ask what steps they would take – including a strike

Nurses protesting in London following the announcement of the NHS pay offer in July. Picture: Alamy

Nursing staff in England are to be balloted on their willingness to take part in industrial action, including a strike, over their 3% pay award.

The announcement by the RCN follows an earlier ballot in which 92% of members who voted said the pay offer for 2021-22 was unacceptable.

Ballot of RCN members will ask what steps they would take – including a strike

Nurses protesting in London following the announcement of the NHS pay offer in July. Picture: Alamy

Nursing staff in England are to be balloted on their willingness to take part in industrial action, including a strike, over their 3% pay award.

The announcement by the RCN follows an earlier ballot in which 92% of members who voted said the pay offer for 2021-22 was unacceptable.

RCN members working for the NHS in England on Agenda for Change contracts will now be asked if they are willing to:

  • take action short of a strike, such as working their contracted hours only

or

  • take part in strike action, which is a complete withdrawal of labour.

Ballot will indicate next steps in pay campaign

The indicative ballot, which the college said will open in ‘the coming weeks’, follows last week’s announcement by RCN Scotland of a ballot on potential industrial action over nursing staff’s 4% pay offer in Scotland.

The ballots will be used to inform next steps in the separate disputes over pay.

Members will not ‘go quiet about NHS pay’, RCN says

RCN council chair Carol Popplestone said: ‘Politicians might be hoping our members would go quiet about NHS pay, but with this announcement they are turning up the volume yet further.’

She added: ‘Only by paying nursing staff fairly will you stop experienced staff from leaving and encourage the next generation to join a fantastic career.’

Nurses must ‘speak up’ about their views on industrial action

RCN trade union committee chair Graham Revie said: ‘When the vote opens across England, the power is once again in the hands of nursing staff. I urge as many members as possible to speak up and tell us whether they believe industrial action is needed to turn things around for our patients.’

In Northern Ireland, a formal pay announcement is still awaited. Next steps for members in Wales, who also rejected the 3% pay offer, will be announced in due course.

Unite members vote for industrial action

Unite is drawing up plans for 'targeted industrial action' over the government's 3% pay award for NHS staff in England.

A consultative ballot by the union found that of the 90% of voting members who rejected the offer, 84% were willing to take some form of industrial action. Unite said it would now be liaising with other health trade unions to coordinate pay campaign actions.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘Our members in the NHS in England have voted overwhelmingly to show their disdain at what is effectively another pay cut for those who cared for the dying and sick during the pandemic.’

Next steps will be discussed with members.


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