Nurses working within the NHS are to be asked whether they’d be willing to take industrial action in an indicative ballot launching soon.

It’s after 92% of members working for the NHS in England who voted in our recent consultative ballot said the 3% pay award for 2021-22 is unacceptable.

These results have been carefully considered by our elected Trade Union Committee, factoring in the views of members on the RCN’

Royal College of Nursing members will be asked if they are willing to take action short of a strike – such as working contracted hours only – or strike action, which is the complete withdrawal of labour.

The RCN is clear that industrial action is always a last resort, but also make it clear that the current staffing crisis in the NHS is causing unacceptable risk to patients and staff.

Chair of RCN Council 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.

“We are a patient safety critical profession but currently forced to operate with tens of thousands of missing nurses – patient care is suffering.

“Only by paying nursing staff fairly will you stop experienced staff from leaving and encourage the next generation to join a fantastic career.”

The vote will open in the coming weeks with the launch date and more details available soon.

Chair of the RCN Trade Union Committee Graham Revie said: “Today’s decision was taken by members, for members. Nursing staff from across the country are leading this campaign from the front and the RCN Trade Union Committee has listened to the views of members who voted.

“Our members were very clear in telling the Prime Minster that his NHS pay deal was completely unacceptable – it fails the test of fairness and it fails to address the current crisis by not taking action to safely staff our wards and clinics.”


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