Hundreds of nurses in Wales and England to be balloted on industrial action over NHS pay
Hundreds of nurses across Wales and England are to vote on whether to take historic industrial action.
A ballot over whether RCN union members should strike will take place from 15 September until 13 October.
It comes in response to the latest NHS pay award, which the union argues leaves experienced nurses over £1,000 off in real times
There had been calls for a fully funded pay rise 5% above inflation, which is currently 11.8%, to combat years of wage stagnation and the cost-of-living crisis.
Last month Wrexham.com reported that the Welsh Government had accepted the recommendation of the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB), for all NHS staff on Agenda for Change terms and conditions – including nurses, cleaners, porters, healthcare support workers and healthcare professionals -for a £1,400 pay rise on most pay grades.
For the lowest paid staff (bands 1 to 4), which make up nearly half of the Agenda for Change workforce, this will on average equate to a 7.5% pay rise on pay grades.
The starting salary for the lowest paid roles in band 1 and the bottom of band 2 in NHS Wales will now be £20,758, this equates to a pay rise of 10.8% this financial year for this band.
For staff at the top of band 6 and in band 7, the £1,400 payment will be enhanced to be equivalent to a 4% pay rise.
In response to the pay rise announced by England and Wales, RCN is balloting members on whether strike action should be taken.
If enough members vote for industrial action, it will be the first time in RCN history that members in England and Wales go on strike.
Pat Cullen, RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive, said: “Nursing staff will stop at nothing to protect their patients.
“Staff shortages are putting patient safety at risk and the government’s failure to listen has left us with no choice but to advocate for strike action.
“A lifetime of service must never mean a lifetime of poverty. Ministers’ refusal to recognise the skill and responsibility of the job is pushing people out of the profession.
“The next prime minister must change course urgently.”
Carol Popplestone, Chair of RCN Council, said: “After years of underpayment and staff shortages, the fight for fair pay must strengthen. Your vote in the upcoming ballot will be essential to turning the tide on low pay.
“Please urgently check we have your up-to-date home addresses and employer details so you can cast your vote.
“This year’s pay award does not help you with the rising cost of living. It will do nothing to help to recruit or retain more nursing staff where you work and will not keep patients safe.”
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